And Ichabod adds his own stories taken from Cotton Mather and his nightly walks around Sleepy Hollow. The author incorporated many local names and details, adding an air of authenticity to his telling. This is a lesson for some literary critics and professors who lose the joy of reading in the course of minute interpretation. Ichabod is characterized as a weak and greedy man. But by morning, daylight cures him of all his fears. Epigraphs are intended to suggest the theme of the work that follows. He knows how to change his behavior based on the situation in which he finds himself—conscious that social relations are often a battle requiring strategy like any other.
Finally he sees an enormous hulk - the headless horseman. The tulip-tree is a symbol for where the supernatural arises in the reality of the story. He kicked his horse faster. He quickly sets out to win her hand in marriage, coming by the Van Tassel farm frequently to woo her. But I wonder how many people know that its author, Washington Irving, drew inspiration from real-life events that took place in and around Tarrytown, New York. Nevertheless, the other villagers easily assimilate this new element into the traditional town ghost stories.
This parenthetical aside introduces the narrator: a fictional Dutch historian named Diedrich Knickerbocker, whose stories are collected and presented by Geoffrey Crayon, a fictional stand-in for Washington Irving. GradeSaver, 27 April 2009 Web. Whereas Ichabod is skinny and bookish, Brom is sturdy, strong, and mischievous. The farmer ran his horse faster and faster. He fills the school house with smoke, trains a dog to follow Ichabod around howling, and sets many other pranks to frustrate and humiliate Ichabod. He mistakes bushes for ghosts, his own steps for those of a specter behind him, and a gust of wind for the Headless Horseman following him. That year, the village of North Tarrytown officially changed its name to Sleepy Hollow.
Ichabod Crane, an itinerant schoolteacher, falls for Katrina Van Tassel, the pretty daughter of a prosperous local family. Ichabod, however, refuses to fight Bram for Katrina, so Bram is left frustrated as Ichabod rises in Katrina's esteem. Ichabod is unconvinced of this, but learns more about the ghostly horseman - it is the ghost of a Hessian sent by the British during the revolutionary war, and he was caught by redcoats and decapitated with his own sword. Ichabod rides closer to the tree. German, English and Scandinavian folktales involving a headless rider chasing hapless travelers have been told for many generations. Ichabod, in fact, may be clever and manipulative but also believes strongly in magic and witchcraft. It can't get more classic.
Brom Van Brunt rode to the party on his fastest horse called Daredevil. Given the narrative frame of the tale, we know that the narrator is not omniscient but has had to rely on others' tales. Bones himself most likely dressed up as the horseman, and—humorously enough to him—used a pumpkin to simulate the legendary unattached head. She was the only daughter of a rich Dutch farmer. But this description is more of a parody of romanticist prose, as Irving pokes fun at the battle into which Ichabod is riding. Brom's horse was never seen at Katrina's house on Sunday nights anymore.
One thing with which I take issue is the notion that this book is a horror story. The school is moved elsewhere and the old schoolhouse deserted. One afternoon in autumn, Ichabod is sitting in the front of his classroom swinging around his birch whip, while his students scribble dutifully or whisper to each other in hushed tones. Thus, even though it is an American village, it is presented as more like a European village than most American neighborhoods, which allows it to have legends. On the one hand, we are critical readers, because otherwise we would not figure out who is playing the role of the horseman. Knickerbocker offers the possibility that Brom Bones was responsible for the event of the Headless Horseman.
He is described as content, never looking for anything beyond his own farm where he was snug and happy. Despite his odd appearance, Ichabod quickly proved to be a ladies' man charming all the eligible local maidens. Brom musically told the tale of the to frighten the teacher. He takes his tales from his book. Now, the perspective becomes a more distanced, objective point of view.
But what about Ichabod Crane? In the early American republic, going to school was far from a given. It is still apparent here, however. Even when Ichabod shows his better characteristics, helping out around the farms he stays at and keeping the children and wives happy, his primary goal in doing so is to keep his hosts content so that they will let him stay, and continue to feed him. In Europe, her lack of title would have limited those who would be interested in her to others of similar status, but in America or at least this sleepy town her abundance of resources, combined with her good looks, youth, and charm, are enough to make her very desirable. This is the oldest conflict of all time: romantic rivals. An interesting fact, the Cinderella castle at Disney world is modeled after a castle in Germany called nueswanstein not sure of the spelling.
This goal drives his desire to marry the beautiful Katrina, an heiress. Ichabod made his horse run faster. By the time the massive figure rises out of the shadows, we are almost unsurprised, so well has Ichabod and Irving built up a foreboding of disaster. She was a girl in bloom…much like a round red, rosy apple. Yet, the narrator has not demonstrated that factuality is the point. He always won the horse races in Tarry Town and earned many prizes. An underlying conflict embedded in the story is the conflict between Enlightenment and Romantic ideals, explains Shmoop.