Free Essay

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow


Submitted By verobk
Words 3176
Pages 13
In examining Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” alongside Tim Burton’s filmic adaption of the story, titled “Sleepy Hollow,” a number of fascinating similarities and differences emerge. Though elements of the characters and settings of Burton’s film borrow heavily from Irving’s text, the overall structuring of the film is significantly different, and representations of various elements are crucially re-imagined. Tim Burton’s “Sleepy Hollow” was released on November 19, 1999, a few months before the new millennium. Set in 1799, Burton’s film modifies the 1790 date that Irving’s text is set in, showing an acute concern with living out anxieties surrounding millennial change in the ‘safe’ formats of film and of established folk legend. Irving’s tale, written in 1820, also works with antiquity, but in a different manner: it lives out colonial cultural anxieties of Irving’s present, as he seems to be concerned with constructing archetypes of folk and with placing folk culture in the new American literary landscape. Examining the two versions of the tale, then, provides a fascinating peek into the transformation of concerns and values in America from Irving’s nineteenth century landscape to Burton’s twentieth (on the verge of twenty-first) century. Burton makes several significant moves that modify the basics of Irving’s tale, frequently at the cost of the folk elements of Irving’s version. The frame narrative of Irving’s story—the tale, part of a series titled “The Sketch Book,” begins with the preface “Found among the papers of the Late Diedrich Knickerbocker—is completely done away with (Irving 41). What is more, the second narrator of the story, who is narrating to Knickerbocker “at the corporation meeting of the ancient city of the Manhattoes,” is also disposed of (Irving 61). There is no narrator at all in Burton’s film, and the action that the characters experience is firsthand, not retrospective or omniscient. Such a move takes away from the “folk legend” element of the story, transforming it into a supernatural spectacle for on the screen instead of a possibly-supernatural tale for around the fireplace. The ways in which Irving and Burton code the city and the country in their respective productions is similarly impacted by the periods in which each man was working. Irving’s “Sleepy Hollow” emphasizes local culture and the power of myth making within these cultures. In Irving’s town of Sleepy Hollow, the tale of the headless horseman reigns, but does not extend outside of the local realm, and does not necessarily physically manifest: when Ichabod leaves for the city at the end of the narrative, the horseman does not follow him. However, in Burton’s adaption, the tale of the headless horseman is not merely local folklore, but becomes elevated to the level of metropolitan ‘news’ through the literal act of murder instead of the mere legend of murder. Crime, then, elevates the cultural status of the horseman from local legend to state-wide murder suspect. Irving’s story, noted by scholars such as Daniel Hoffmann for its powerful interpretation of local myth and mythic tropes, is transported into the realm of the metropolitan through the re-characterization of New York as Ichabod’s ‘home,’ Sleepy Hollow as a creepy and underdeveloped relic, and the myth of the horseman as reality. With this transportation comes a number of cultural alterations that present the town of Sleepy Hollow in a distinctly different way than Irving, and the strange if not idealized town that is ripe for colonial conquest by the northerner Ichabod becomes essentially undesirable. The different ways in which Irving and Burton construct an “other” in each of their cultural productions of “Sleepy Hollow” is telling in regards to how society had changed since Irving first published the novel. If Irving’s “Sleepy Hollow” converts Ichabod into the “other” via his status as an outsider to the town (he is described as a “native of Connecticut,” which is not Sleepy Hollow (Irving 43)), Burton’s adaption seems to “other” the town itself by aligning the contemporary viewer with Ichabod, a relatable city-dweller, before entering Sleepy Hollow. The opening shots of the film support the idea that the country is the “other”: while Ichabod’s home of New York is full of people and displays science, bureaucracy, and progress, Sleepy Hollow is conspicuously empty and absorbed in supernatural beliefs, sensuous parties, and tradition. Such a contrast permits the landscape to be rendered strange by its abandon and its anachronistic feel. The city, filled with technology and bodies, a world well-known to a movie-goer in 1999, stands in stark contrast to the traditional and body-less terrain of Sleepy Hollow. Such a shift in alignment from Irving’s nostalgic rusticism to Burton’s forward-geared metropolitan seems a distinctly pre-millennial interpretation of the “Sleepy Hollow” tale: what society fears losing is not the culture of quaint ancestry, but is instead a fear of losing the technology of the city. If Irving describes Sleepy Hollow as a place where “populations, manners, and customs remained fixed,” and labels this place as haunted by superstition, Burton presents Sleepy Hollow as simply lacking in scientific knowledge, and thus plagued by literal murder. Writes Orr, "As the film's title implies, Sleepy Hollow itself is the most important dimension of Burton/Walker's revision, because it suggests not only an unleashing of the story's latent gothic energy... but also an increased scrutiny of Irving's utopian colony" (Orr 46). Sleepy Hollow no longer takes on undertones of idyllic, American pastorals; instead, it is a place of terror, where guards must constantly control to prevent a traditional mythological character from manifesting and killing. Tying in with a variety of other elements in the film’s, Burton’s heavy reliance on the supernatural in comparison to Irving’s avoidance of the supernatural is pertinent for many reasons. Irving’s story leaves it very unclear as to whether or not the horseman is supernatural: Brom and his friends “always burst into a hearty laugh” when people bring up Ichabod’s disappearance, which offers a rational explanation for the “horseman’s” attack on Ichabod by presenting it as a prank (Irving 61). Burton’s film, however, quickly discredits the possibility that the horseman is merely a prank by Brom by showing Brom fooling with a conscious Ichabod, and by killing Brom off completely soon after: because the trickster is dead, he cannot be the horseman. Burton’s Ichabod confesses that rationality has been invalidated for him forty minutes into the film: “It’s all true!” he declares, in reference to the horseman’s existence. The supernatural then proceeds to appear before the viewer’s very eyes, as witches channel undead spirits, and a “gateway between two worlds” manifests that yields murder (Burton 50:31). Thus, there is no questioning the presence of the supernatural: one is made to see it themselves. Irving’s “myth” elements of his story, then, are again greatly stripped from the film in favor of capitalizing on the supernatural and all the filmic special effects that come with it. The mechanisms through which Ichabod is represented as a simultaneous scientific and spiritual believer in both Irving’s and Burton’s versions of the tale also prove of interest. Writes Stanley Orr, referencing Irving’s tale, “In chatting with the Dutch housewives, Ichabod appears to have 'digested' two disparate traditions: the 'supernatural' world of Mather's Puritanism and the 'wonders' of the Enlightenment's natural world, whereby Ichabod turns astronomy into hair-raising tales in order to insinuate himself into the community" (Orr 45). In Burton's imagining, Ichabod also incorporates these “disparate traditions”; however, his belief in the supernatural is obtained through personal experience (empirical philosophy) rather than through reading about the supernatural in Mather’s book and talking to housewives about his readings. Burton's Ichabod does not use his knowledge of the supernatural to befriend the women of the town; alternately, the women of the town and their penchant for witchcraft force Ichabod to believe in the supernatural. Burton’s modifications to the characters of Irving’s text heavily tie in to the greater, overarching reinterpretations the film makes, and says much about the contemporary cultural moments in which the story and the film were produced. In his essay on “Irving’s Use of American Folklore in ‘Sleepy Hollow,’” Daniel Hoffman points to the mythological characterizations of Ichabod and Brom as mythic tropes, namely that of the “Connecticut yankee,” and the “swaggering frontier braggart” (429; 430). Burton’s film heavily modifies these archetypes, showing that the new millennium would need a different sort of hero than early America needed. In the film, Ichabod is introduced as a constable, not a teacher; he lives in New York, and does not travel to Sleepy Hollow by his own free will, but instead at the command of the government. Ichabod is introduced in the film as the ‘Enlightenment male’ who trusts in science, rationality, and empirical knowledge: he challenges the court systems to update their procedures, and invents his own medical tools. Burton’s rendering of the character is significantly different from Irving’s Ichabod, who openly admits in his belief in witchcraft (see Irving 45), who publically wars with Brom for the love of Katrina Van Tassell, and who clearly wants Katrina for the material wealth she will provide him. Instead of Ichabod being a hungry colonizer ready to devour Sleepy Hollow (as Orr suggests), he emerges as a still-metropolitan, but far more forward-thinking man of science, not of words. What Burton’s Ichabod seeks is knowledge and answers, and a return to the city; not the Van Tassell farm and its riches, nor westward expansion, as Irving’s Ichabod seeks. Ichabod is not the only primary male character to be heavily modified in Burton’s adaption; Brom, too, undergoes a thorough transformation. In Irving’s figuration of Brom, the reader can see a “comic mythology” that establishes him as the ‘American hero’ archetype: he is strong, burly, and raucous, and wins Katrina in the end because his superstition does not overpower his will to be with her. However, if bravado and boldness win Katrina for Brom in the book, these same traits prove to be his downfall in the film, and Brom dies fairly early on in the filmic narrative. Brom is rendered an insufficient hero for the 1999 movie-going audience. The new American hero, then, is no longer the Brom of Irving’s age who knows how to pull of a hearty prank using mythology, and who knows how to truly love Katrina. Instead, it is the city-dwelling Ichabod, whose Enlightenment-style exploration of the crimes in Sleepy Hollow lets him resolve local mythology, and who wins the love of Katrina through his intellectual prowess. Burton’s adaption of Irving’s tale interestingly incorporates multiple facets of American history that exist less prominently (or do not exist at all) in the original text. Instead of Irving’s emphasis on the power of local myths, Burton’s tale incorporates a greater national mythology of American history, incorporating fragments of the ideology of slavery and of the Salem witch trials into the film. In Burton’s adaption of “Sleepy Hollow,” an interesting historical commentary surfaces surrounding the topic of ideological control and slavery. Instead of examining figurative mental control, however, Burton translates ideology into something corporeal. Much as ideology functions by controlling the mind, whoever owns the head of the horseman has control of his body. Enslavement and control depends upon possession of the head, a physical representation that can easily be read as a metaphor for the mind. The fact that a woman—namely, Katrina’s step-mother Lady Van Tassell—is controlling the male body of the headless horseman interestingly ties gender into the theme of enslavement. Slavery and cruelty of the mistress, tropes also seen in slave narratives such as Harriet Jacobs’ and Frederick Douglass’, becomes a prevalent theme. The extreme physicality of Burton’s characterization is significant: once the horseman has his physical skull returned to him by Ichabod, he morphs back into his ‘human’ form, and with this transformation regains his agency: slavery is abolished when the mind is returned to the body, when ideological control is broken. The horseman steals Katrina’s stepmother and takes her through the portal into the depths of hell, and she no longer exercises any control over him now that his mind, and thus his humanity, have been restored. The presence of the Salem witch trials in Burton’s film is overwhelming, and does much work to redefine Irving’s initial tale. Significantly, all of the female characters in Burton’s film are witches, corpses, or both of the two. Ichabod’s mother is murdered by his father after she is shown drawing an incantation in the dirt; Katrina’s mother passes on a book of Spells to her daughter, who is also shown drawing incantations on the floor; Lady Van Tassell and her sister are also witches, one seeking revenge for being publically shunned when her mother was outed as a witch, the other taking refuge in the forest. Burton’s “Sleepy Hollow,” then, is as much a witch hunt as it is a tale about the supernatural forces of the headless horseman (supernatural forces which ultimately prove to be caused by a witch, Lady Van Tassell). Whereas the supernatural is an interest of Ichabod’s in Irving’s tale—he carries Cotton Mather’s “History of New England Witchcraft” with him, and “most firmly and potently believed” in it (Irving 45)—it is a literal lifestyle for the women occupying the town of Sleepy Hollow in Burton’s film. The supernatural is converted from a masculine interest into a feminine practice, curiously gendering witchcraft and increasing the connection between Burton’s emphasis on myth and the Salem witch trials’ tendency to vilify women. Witchcraft is further gendered in the film through its manifestations and the sense of legacy surrounding it: Katrina’s mother is a witch, and she passes on her book of spells to her daughter, who is also a witch; Katrina’s stepmother is a witch, and so is her sister, because her mother was a witch. A distinctly matriarchal lineage of witchcraft emerges, and Ichabod confirms the gendering of this descent: although Icabod’s mother is a witch, because he is a man, he is not a witch or warlock himself. It is also important to note that although witches are gendered as exclusively being women, not all of these witch-women are characterized as “bad.” Instead, a paradigm of “good” and “bad” female witches surface in the film. Katrina’s step-mother is vengeful and murderous, conjuring the headless horseman as her mechanism for revenge; thus, she is bad. Katrina herself, however, is described by Nasbath as “a strange sort of witch with a kind and loving heart,” and is shown using her powers to protect those she loves (Burton 1:20:28). Thus, while the tale does not demonize all witches, it does still gender them, complicating the representation of women in the film. The representation of Katrina Van Tassel’s witch-centric spirituality exists in particular contrast to Ichabod’s skepticism, further gendering ideas of rationality and irrationality. In a scene where Katrina gives Ichabod her mother’s spell book, she tells Ichabod it will “protect” him. Here, women are characterized as superstitious and spiritual. Ichabod’s skepticism exists as a polarity to this feminine characterization: the male is a rational antithesis to the spiritual woman, and though he will take the book, it is out of social nicety moreso than actual belief. Interestingly, Katrina’s gift does ultimately save Ichabod; however, the book saves him for a rational reason instead of a supernatural one: the book becomes a physical barrier that prevents a bullet from going into Ichabod’s chest. Katrina, however, uses the book to save people in a spiritual, intellectual sense: a spell from its pages delays the headless horseman from hurting her father, and also protects Ichabod. The spell book, then, reaffirms a gendered understanding of spirituality and rationality: Ichabod, the man, is saved by its rational existence as a solid object, while Katrina, the woman, saves others using its spiritual qualities. Even beyond the presence of witches and representations of rationality, gender dynamics of Irving’s narrative are significantly altered in Burton’s adaption; whereas Irving’s Ichabod exists as a popular figure amongst the housewives of Sleepy Hollow, Burton’s Ichabod is surrounded by the town’s men. Women in the film are condemned to be murder victims or witches exclusively, and do not exist as prevalent participants in the film otherwise. However, it is important to note that women—though often demonized as a consequence—are given significantly more agency and power in the film than in the book. Whereas Katrina exists as a passive, beautiful prize in Irving’s tale, she emerges as a strong-willed, intelligent woman in Burton’s film who actively engages with Ichabod as an equal. When Ichabod goes into the woods to find the grave of the Hessian, Katrina encounters him at the scene: not only is she intelligent enough to know where Ichabod is going, she has enough agency to decide that she wants to participate in helping him, and nobody stops her. Additionally, we see a great deal of agency when Katrina burns the papers that incriminate her father: this act goes against the wishes of her male lover Ichabod, so although she operates under masculine influence in the sense that she is subservient to her father, it is still her own defiant decision to perform this act. In watching Burton’s “Sleepy Hollow,” and observing the various other cultural products that use Irving’s tale as its base influence, the question inevitably rises, Why does Irving’s tale, written in 1820, remain culturally relevant today? The retell-ability of the narrative undeniably plays a role: short, modifiable, and frightening, it offers a lot of great material for story telling. Additionally, the anxieties of the story have remained relevant: social rejection, supernatural intervention, and love exist in both the Irving and Burton versions of the narrative, highlighting them as universal themes that always remain appealing. The end of the film is particularly interesting, and particularly telling of the story’s utility: instead of being shunned to the city after anxieties of the supernatural and rejection by Katrina drive him away from Sleepy Hollow, Burton’s Ichabod triumphantly returns to the city with Katrina, and with the orphaned child Nasbath. A conventional family unit of a mother, a father, and a son, then, comes to the city, thankful for the new century’s arrival; declares Ichabod, they have returned “Just in time for the new century” (Burton 01:45:00). The ending clearly points towards American progress, and offers an optimistic transfer into the new century: witchcraft, ominous woods, and the supernatural are left behind in favor of science, cityscape, and rationality. Through the medium of the family unit, progress is possible. Considering the film’s release in 1999, the metaphoric power of this ending cannot be overlooked. Contemporary society’s anxieties about the future are quelled along with the character’s anxieties: a new century means a new beginning, and an abandonment of the previous era’s “witchcraft.” “Home is this way,” says Ichabod (Burton 01:45:00). And so the city becomes home for the new family, and the future, completely abandoning the past, becomes their destiny.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Favoritism in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow

...In Washington Irving's short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" he has two main characters, Ichabod Crane and Bram Bones.  These two heroic characters both desire the same woman, Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter of a substantial Dutch farmer.  Apart from the fact that they both yearn for the same woman these two men are completely different creatures.  In "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", Washington Irving does not hide the fact that he clearly favors Ichabod Crane over Brom Bones. Ichabod Crane is a somewhat geeky tall lanky man. He is a highly educated schoolmaster who travels from home to home teaching young children. "Ichabod Crane had a soft and foolish heart towards the sex". He clearly doubts himself with the ladies and appears to be a rather insecure character throughout the narrative. On the other hand, Ichabod Crane's adversary Bram Bones is quite the opposite. Bram Bones is a rather large robust burly and somewhat arrogant man. He is well known for his "feats of strength and hardihood. He is a confident man who expects his advances on a lady to be reciprocated. Bram Bones traveled with his gang of friends whereas Ichabod Crane seemed to be a loner who traveled by himself. Interestingly, both men were well known for their knowledge and skill in their own trades. Nevertheless, even their choice of vocation couldn't be more contrary. Bram Bones was known for his great knowledge and skill in horsemanship. His profession was a hands on job requiring great physical...

Words: 441 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Summary

...The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Nate Holbus Ichabod, the tall, slick, innocent man, anxiously rode his horse through the gloomy forest. Hard splashes of wet dirt throughout the forest produced a nerve racking echoing sound behind them. Ichabod’s muscles tensed up. Up the hill he traveled. The instructor started to become afraid, because he felt that someone, or something, was following him. Suddenly, he heard footsteps behind him, and they were becoming louder, and louder, and louder. Ichabod’s horse started running. Sweat ran down the bodies of Ichabod and the frightened horse. The terrified teacher struggled to position himself correctly as he became unbalanced on the horse. Ichabod then felt a hot, horrifying breath on the bone of his neck....

Words: 252 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Essay

...Washington Irving is a well-known author of many short stories that have dynamic themes in them. One example would be “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” This particular story includes a character full of imagination and curiosity as he wonders a new city he has recently moved to. Throughout the story, Ichabod makes the mistake of being a captive of his own imagination. His imagination involves mixing tales that others have told with his fears in the dark. The audience is amused by this peculiar story, but they do not notice the similarity between themselves and a few of the fictional characters in the story. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” reflects the power any individual could have over another’s mind. The story starts off with an introduction...

Words: 649 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Literary Analysis

...The Romantic Age was a time for the emergence of imaginative stories that allowed writers to break free from the typical European models of literature. Romantic writers were idealistic; they put emphasis on emotions rather than intellect. For example, writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Washington Irving are representatives of this literary age because their works exhibit the Romantic ideals of the supernatural, a love for nature, and larger-than-life heroes and villains. In the short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving, he displays many characteristics of the Romantic Age such as supernatural occurrences and the character's use of emotion over logic. The mention of many ghost stories throughout the story indicates elements of supernatural events. Towards the end of the story the main character, Icabod, is riding home through the forest from his love, Katrina's, party when he recalls the tale of the Headless Horseman. Ichabod is paranoid with every sound he hears thinking that he is being...

Words: 671 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Friendship In Ichabod And The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

...The overview of friendship in these readings it’s presented as a source of vanity. For example, in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow it is said, “[...] he borrowed a horse from the farmer with whom he was domiciliated [...] and, thus gallantly mounted, issued forth, like a knight-errant in quest of adventures.” (18). The problem here is that Ichabod is using a horse form his friend and wants to pretend as if were his. Ichabod is trying to pretend someone that he is not and we can see this because by borrowing his friend’s wealth he is presenting himself differently. Now in The Monster the representation of friendship presented here is like this, “Hello, Jim! said Henry, poising his sponge. ” (2.149). This quote is rather showing than saying how...

Words: 271 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Comparing The Raven, And The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

...The Romantic Age was a period between 1820 and 1865 where many writers began to stray from European models. They began to write with their own beliefs and views of life. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Washington Irving are all authors from this age. Literary works such as "Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment" by Hawthorne, "The Raven" by Poe, and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Irving are representative of their literary age because they employ numerous Romantic age characteristics. "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" by Nathaniel Hawthorne has many Romantic ideals present within. Hawthorne's use of supernatural mysterious objects and idealistic views throughout the story are noticeable characteristics in this literary work. As Hawthorne describes...

Words: 604 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Mark Twain's The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

...Deep in the woods, there is a road waiting to be used. A black crow waits under the bright moonlight for its next prey. Welcoming it’s visitors, the Sleepy Hollow sign stands lonely waiting to be looked at. Local news report claims that a couple kids have been kidnapped by a strange black figure on a horse. Rumor has it that the figure goes by the name of, Headless Horseman. The local people are in shock and want to know why he is after their kids. An old story has been told that the horseman lost his head in war while fighting. He goes back to the place where he last remembers, every night to see if its still there. He can’t find it but that won’t stop him. The town people get spooked away and never return back to Sleep Hollow. One night...

Words: 534 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Ichabod Crane In Washington Irving's The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

...In "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving, the author takes a rather humorous attitude toward the character of Ichabod Crane, a likable yet universal stereotype. Although the story has gained a reputation as a ghost story over the years, Irving shaped it as a comic tale of self-delusion. Much of the humor derives from the contrasts within Crane's own personality. Ichabod Crane was the main character in “ The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Ichabod Crane was described as a tall, skinny, gangly, awkward young man whose whole fame was most loosely hung together. He saw himself as a very accomplished, suave man. Women in the rural neighborhood easily sophisticated Crane. Other people seen Crane as an educated and scholarly man by their standards. He was a standard teacher who teaches in a roughly-made, log building that only had one large room in it. The author states “From here the low murmur of...

Words: 734 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

How Does Irving Use Satire In The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

...Irving uses satire in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to blur the line of fantasy and story. Many stories during the time focused on the idolized hero. A hero that the everyday man could not measure up to. Irving decided to take the normal hero story and turn it on his head. He introduced a hero that didn’t get the girl, didn’t fight for love, and didn’t defeat the monster. Throughout The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Irving satirizes the the refined American and thus helps define the “new” American nation. The many cases of satire in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow come through the character is Ichabod Crane. Crane is a refined and intelligent man who comes to Sleepy Hollow for a teaching job. Even though, he is intelligent and outwardly respectable, he still believes in the unknown or supernatural and this where Irving begins to define the new nation. Crane’s interest or belief in the supernatural is creating a flaw that having too much knowledge can lead to a sense of false logic. Irving imagines a nation where Americans have the perfect balance of common sense and book sense. By creating a hero with such a flaw he shows what being to intelligent can do to...

Words: 511 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Sleepy Hollow Essay: Romanticism Versus The Age Of Reason

...take their position to the pages and to the screens through the characters. In the movie, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, a short story created by Washington Irving then recreated into a movie directed by Tim Burton. Burton takes the viewer on a confusing and mysterious expedition through his use of setting, word choice and story line. Sleepy Hollow is a place where the residents are cautious and the ghosts are fearless. The people of Sleepy Hollow believe in the legend of the Headless Horsemen whose mission is to follow his controller’s commands and behead anyone the controller wishes. When Ichabod Crane, a coroner from New York and protagonist of the story, comes to Sleepy Hollow to investigate three murders he thought he could solve with science and logic but he soon finds out he needs to follow his intuition. Burton uses the setting to portray the feeling the viewer is supposed to have. Sleepy Hollow is dark and mysterious as well as the people in it. When the sky is gloomy and dark and when the grass is brown the viewer gets a since of eeriness and maybe that something bad will happen....

Words: 464 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Washington Irving as an Influence of the American Romantic Movement

...essentially sparking the American Romantic movement. Of course, to start a movement so widespread, Irving needed inspiration; fortunately, his trip to Europe included scores of opportunities for such, and played an integral role Irving’s starting of the American Romantic Movement. Specifically, one such inspiration he picked up from Europe was the habit of keeping journals. Irving’s journals became one of his most prized possessions, and in them, he was constantly trying to improve on his writing. (Williams). Another source of inspiration for Irving was the European myths and legends that he learned of. In fact, “Irving's most important friendship in Granada, both now and during his second visit in 1829, was with this Spanish peasant, Mateo Ximénez, who acted as his guide and who told him many tales which later appeared in Irving book. (The Alhambra 1832)” (Williams) (22) “Irving wanders into the town of Sleepy Hollow, New York, and is told of the story of the Headless Horseman, also known as the Galloping Hessian.” (Characteristics) (Booksie)A final source of influence for Irving’s writings are the, “delightful letters,” that Irving wrote to Mlle. Antoinette Bolviller, a niece of M. D'Oubril, the Russian minister at Madrid. Irving took great pride in these letters, and he often sought help on writing them. There is speculation that this is one of the reasons that he decided...

Words: 820 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Washington Irving

...Rip Van Winkle Summary: “Rip Van Winkle” is an American masterpiece of the short story. It is based on local history but is rooted in European myth and legend. Irving reportedly wrote it one night in England, in June, 1818, after having spent the whole day talking with relatives about the happy times spent in Sleepy Hollow. The author drew on his memories and experiences of the Hudson River Valley and blended them with Old World contributions. “Rip Van Winkle” is such a well-known tale that almost every child in the United States has read it or heard it narrated at one time or another. Rip is a simple-minded soul who lives in a village by the Catskill Mountains. Beloved by the village, Rip is an easygoing, henpecked husband whose one cross to bear is a shrewish wife who nags him day and night. One day he wanders into the mountains to go hunting, meets and drinks with English explorer Henry Hudson’s legendary crew, and falls into a deep sleep. He awakens twenty years later and returns to his village to discover that everything has changed. The disturbing news of the dislocation is offset by the discovery that his wife is dead. In time, Rip’s daughter, son, and several villagers identify him, and he is accepted by the others. One of Irving’s major points is the tumultuous change occurring over the twenty years that the story encompasses. Rip’s little Dutch village had remained the same for generations and symbolized rural peace and prosperity. On his return, everything has...

Words: 5056 - Pages: 21

Free Essay

Washington Irving

...Washington Irving “Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.” Washington Irving, a well-known short story author in the nineteenth century, spoke these words of wisdom. Washington Irving became famous in America for his fine works from The Specter Bridegroom to Rip Van Winkle to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. These satirical sketches are all based on the local areas in New York where Irving resided. His adventures through life spread the word of his writings and he became one of the first renowned short story writers in Europe. Washington Irving was born in New York, New York on April 3, 1783. His mother, Sarah, and father, William Irving, Sr., had eleven children including Washington. He was named after the United States first president, George Washington who was sought to be the greatest hero of all time to his parents. “… He attended the first presidential inauguration of his namesake in 1789” (Biography Channel). Irving was privately schooled and later went to study law in New York after his return from travelling Europe. In 1804 he travelled to France and Italy, while writing journals and letters. When he returned in 1805, Irving continued law school but did poorly for he barely passed the bar exam. (Biography Channel). After Irving finished his studies, he went on to write humorous essay with his older brother William Irving, Jr., and James Kirke Paulding. The Salamagundi papers published the essays in 1807 to 1808....

Words: 2583 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Hessian Soldiers In The Revolutionary War

...many of the Hessian soldiers sided with the colonists, resulting in thousands staying to live in America. These soldiers wanted to explore the many ways of life and opportunities in America. Johann Dohla, a Hessian soldier, said this after seeing New York: "The American land is good and incomparable land...It is rich and fruitful, well cultivated, and with much grain, especially a great deal of Indian corn; and it has many and beautiful forests of both soft and hardwood trees unknown to us." In the story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", it is thought that the "headless horseman" is a dead Hessian soldier. Historically, the colonists disliked the Hessian soldiers even more than the British soldiers they were fighting against during the Revolutionary War. This animosity toward the Hessian soldiers made the ghostly figure very frightening to the residents of Sleepy Hollow, which was located along the Hudson River in New York. I look forward to reading the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. ...

Words: 549 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Hudson Valley In Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow

...The legend of Sleepy Hallow was written by Washington Irving, which talks about a character called Ichabod Crane who is new to the Hudson Valley. He was a school teacher and choirmaster and that is where he finds Katrina Van Tassel. Little did he know he would have competition for her love in the Valley with Brom Bones. The text and the movie are fairly accurate in comical depiction of the Hudson Valley and Sleepy Hallow. The movie and text are accurately correct with the reasons of its depiction of the relationship between Ichabod and Katrina, the location of where the story took place, and understand what both the movie and text are trying to capture just in different forms. Ichabod’s profession was that of a choir master which is where he was meet Katrina Van Tassel. In his eyes, she was young; “plump as a partridge;...

Words: 472 - Pages: 2