The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving | Plot Summary | Summary and Q&A

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February 6, 2020
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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving | Plot Summary

TL;DR

A schoolmaster named Ichabod Crane competes with a popular local for the affections of a wealthy woman, leading to a terrifying encounter with the Headless Horseman.

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Key Insights

  • ❓ The Legend of Sleepy Hollow embodies literary romanticism by showcasing a picturesque and nature-filled setting.
  • 👻 The townspeople of Sleepy Hollow are deeply rooted in their traditions and folklore, as portrayed by their superstitions and ghost stories.
  • 🅰️ Ichabod Crane's character satirically represents the type of individuals who often succeed in politics, reflecting a social commentary on the political arena.
  • 🥰 The rivalry between Ichabod and Brom highlights the theme of competition for love and status within a small community.
  • ❤️‍🩹 The story's resolution reveals that Ichabod had actually survived and became successful in law and politics, while Brom married Katrina, suggesting a bittersweet ending.
  • ❓ Washington Irving utilizes descriptive language and vivid storytelling to create an immersive and engaging narrative.
  • 🛟 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow serves as a cautionary tale against greed and the consequences of delving too deeply into the supernatural.

Transcript

in the introduction of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow narrator Diedrich Knickerbocker describes the origins and beautiful setting of the town of Sleepy Hollow one of the quietest places in the whole world much of the description is focused on the dreamy nature of the valley and its inhabitants who are superstitious people the dominant spirit that haun... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Who is the main antagonist in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"?

The main antagonist is the Headless Horseman, an apparition believed to be a hessian soldier seeking his missing head.

Q: What motivates Ichabod Crane's pursuit of Katrina Van Tassel?

Ichabod is driven by greed, as Katrina's family wealth and resources entice him. He sees her as a means to a more comfortable life.

Q: How does Brom Bones antagonize Ichabod?

Brom regularly plays pranks on Ichabod, publicly ridicules him, and even targets him with a howling dog. He acts as a rival in both love and reputation.

Q: What happens to Ichabod Crane in the end?

After a thrilling chase, Ichabod is struck by the Headless Horseman's hurled head and disappears. The townspeople believe he was taken by the Horseman.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The narrator introduces Sleepy Hollow as a peaceful town haunted by the Headless Horseman.

  • Ichabod Crane, a schoolmaster from Connecticut, competes with Brom Bones for the love of Katrina Van Tassel.

  • Ichabod is eventually chased by the Headless Horseman, and his disappearance leaves the townspeople believing in the legend.

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