The townspeople, most of whom have Dutch heritage, love to gather and tell supernatural tales.
His single marketable skill is teaching, and in the isolated hamlet of Sleepy Hollow this pays meager rewards. His schoolhouse is decrepit, one large room constructed of logs; its broken windows have been patched with the leaves of old copybooks.
Ichabod thus makes the rounds of the neighborhood, and his small salary, combined with his constantly changing address, allows him to store all of his personal possessions in a cotton handkerchief. Because he comes from Connecticut, a state whose major product is country schoolmasters, Ichabod feels both superior to the old Dutch stock of the valley and frustrated by his perpetual state of poverty.
He compensates for the former by regularly caning the more obstinate of his little charges and for the latter by doing light work on the neighboring farms. He further supplements his income by serving as the local singing master, instructing the farm children in the singing of psalms.
He believes even the strangest of these tales; indeed, he frightens himself so much when he reads them that he is startled when he hears a bird or sees a firefly.
The local tale of the Galloping Hessian who rides headless through the woods of Sleepy Hollow particularly alarms him. A snow-covered bush in the half-light is enough to convince Ichabod that he has seen the headless horseman.
Once married to Katrina, he could invest in large tracts of land. He can even imagine Katrina with a whole family of children, setting out with him for promising new territories in Kentucky or Tennessee. It is, however, the sumptuous comfort of the Van Tassel home that makes him realize that he must have Katrina.
Brom, who has long considered Katrina his, immediately recognizes Ichabod as his rival, and with his gang of roughriders plays a series of practical jokes on the Yankee schoolmaster.
Ichabod spends extra time dressing and even borrows a horse so that he can arrive in style. The horse, somewhat inappropriately named Gunpowder, is as gaunt and shabby as Ichabod, but this does not prevent him from thinking that Katrina will be impressed. Ichabod continues to imagine the Van Tassel wealth that he will have if he can make Katrina his, and he quickly becomes the center of attention when Katrina dances with him.
Brom, meanwhile, looks on with helpless jealousy. Brom enjoys himself only when telling of his close encounter with the headless horseman. Ichabod counters with extracts from Cotton Mather and stories of his own close calls with Connecticut and local ghosts.
An interview between Ichabod and Katrina follows the party, and Ichabod leaves, crestfallen. Could Katrina merely have been trying to make Brom jealous?
Indeed, he becomes increasingly uneasy as he approaches the tree from which Major Andre had been hanged. Ichabod knows that he will be safe if only he can cross the church bridge, but just then the goblin rider appears on his black horse, closing in fast behind him.
Instead of disappearing in a burst of fire and brimstone as he has always been said to do, the rider throws his head at Ichabod.The Changing of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - The Changing of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow "Once upon a time" is the predictable beginning of a fairy tale and "happily ever after" is the ending.
Wild chases are traditional in folk tales, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is no different. Of course, we have the ghost stories, but the most prominent comes to life just at the climax of the story.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving is the tale of a schoolmaster from Sleepy Hollow, which is a village located near the Tappen Zee River in New York.
Ichabod was a tall and lanky. Post-Revolutionary War AmericaWhen "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" was published, Irving's America still has its baby face and was looking up to big brother Europe. The story opens with a note that it has been found among the possessions of the “late” Diedrich Knickerbocker, who is the narrator of “Sleepy Hollow.” Knickerbocker describes the setting, the quiet, bucolic “Tarry Town” in upstate New York that time seems to have passed by.
Examines “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” as part of an assessment of the early development of the short story in American literature.