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Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" begins as a lot of stories do from the 1800s. There is a quiet and peaceful small town with a wealthy family and all the activities of the townsfolk surround them. The town, according to the narrator is noted for being calm and serene, that is how the little village got the name Sleepy Hollow. The only thing that upsets this personality of the town is the local poltergeist, the Headless Horseman. The local schoolteacher Ichabod Crane is familiar with the stories of the Headless Horseman and how it takes the heads of those who pass his bridge, but he does not believe them to be true. Schoolteacher Crane comes face-to-face with the Headless Horseman. Given what is told about Ichabod Crane's character, it is easy to see that though he claims to be smarter than the other villagers who believe…… [Read More]
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by ashington Irving [...] why Sleepy Hollow is such a quaint and yet haunted place. Is Sleepy Hollow the perfect setting for this story? hy? Sleepy Hollow seems far too bucolic to house fantastic legends like the Headless Horseman, and yet, it is such a perfectly serene setting, why wouldn't a ghost want to spend eternity there?
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow sounds like the perfect little country oasis, and indeed, Irving describes it as the ideal retreat early in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." He writes, "If ever I should wish for a retreat, whither I might steal from the world and its distractions, and dream quietly away the remnant of a troubled life, I know of none more promising than this little valley" (Irving 12-13). Irving continues to build up the peace and tranquility of the area throughout the story, so that…… [Read More]
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”: Who is the Antagonist?
Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is an unusual horror story, because it does not have a clear antagonist, although the hero Ichabod Crane is pursued by the legendary headless horseman of the titular legend. For the most part, the horseman is a character who is spoken about, rather than actually takes part in the story. Instead, the actual antagonist is that of Ichabod Crane’s fear, which leads him cower and runaway from a rival lover who pretends to be the decapitated horseman. Crane’s fear makes him easy prey for Brom Bones Van Brunt, who uses the fragile psychology of the schoolmaster against Crane and eventually steals his bride from Crane by his successful impersonation of the horseman.
In Crane’s defense, the town of Sleepy Hollow itself is said to be prone to ghost story-telling, which likely contributes to Crane’s…… [Read More]
Sleepy Hollow: American Anxiety Via American Gothic
The early Americans lived in an America that many are unfamiliar with in this day. Early America was a fierce wilderness rife with uncharted territories and much uncertainty. Thus, there was no doubt that early Americans felt a great deal of anxiety: anxiety about their futures and anxiety about their decision to leave England. Published in 1820, the story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by ashington Irving is a classic example of American gothic fiction and is a strong representation of the anxiety of the early colonists. Many of the supernatural elements of the short story "Sleepy Hollow" demonstrate a sense of fear about what is, and a fear about the environment, along with an aggravated apprehension about what was to come.
The sense of grimness and gloom is present throughout Irving's story and are tools which he uses to set the tone…… [Read More]
First, evil in Sleepy Hollow is more equating with a satirical view that, in this case, evil is a more benign humor, bumbling, caustic in disrupting the town, and, as it was in Ancient Greek and oman drama, simply more of an irritant than planned destruction. Focusing again on the time period, our first introduction to this theme is one of Dutch New York against Urban New England. The Dutch community is sylvan, nostalgically conceived, changeless, and an Eden for its inhabitants. Ichabod arrives as a Yankee whose spoiling of this Eden simply cannot be tolerated -- and even more, by marrying the daughter of a wealthy and high-ranking community member, becoming part of Eden himself. This simply could not happen to a community that is so "European in nature."
Sleepy Hollow, as a town is clearly Dutch, with Dutch values, culture, and mores, or for riving, "population, manners, and…… [Read More]
As the two protagonists battle wits, a subplot becomes evident: choices must be made between the old order and the new order. The sturdy Brom Bones, with his practical, quaint Dutch upbringing, is a cog in a hole (or the whole, that is the village). Brom fits Tarry Town, and his rowdy mischievous nature functions as a pleasant diversion in the quiet little village. Brom represents the virtues of the old, tried-and-true order of the original settlers of the Sleepy Hollow area. Should Katrina choose Brom, she knows exactly what she will be getting. Not much will change in Katrina's life, one assumes, should she decide to marry the local fellow. Brom would be likely to assume some lesser role in the operations of his father-in-law's farm, which means that the happy couple will remain under the watchful eye of Katrina's doting father. Perhaps, over time, Brom will win over…… [Read More]
Listen to Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God preached. Discuss in the discussion group.
Jonathan Edwards gives us a perfect example of the Calvinist beliefs of the Puritan settlers in early New England. Edwards studied theology at Yale University -- where today there is still a dormitory named after him -- but then became a noteworthy preacher in the Great Awakening, which exhorted an entire generation to renew their Christian faith. Edwards' skill in preaching lies in using literary imagery to get across abstract theological concepts. Calvinist theology believes in "total depravity" -- in other words, because of Adam and Eve eating the apple, human beings are fallen, and stained with "original sin." The most memorable image in Edwards' sermon -- the image of the spider being held over a fiery pit -- is meant to be a metaphor to enable the listener to imagine how…… [Read More]
Tim urton's 1999 film adaptation of Washington Irving's 1819 short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is hardly a faithful or literal adaptation. R.. Palmer, in his introduction to Nineteenth-Century American Literature on Screen, is rather chilly in his dismissal of urton's adaptation; he claims that a simple survey of Hollywood adaptations overall reveals that a number of major figures, most prominently Washington Irving…had never or rarely (and then generally unsatisfactorily) been adapted for the screen. ecause it has been so dedicated to marketing modernity, broadly conceived, Hollywood production offers only a narrow view of nineteenth-century literature. Hollywood's most extensive engagement with nineteenth-century politics and culture is in fact through an essentially twentieth-century form: the western…(Palmer 6).
Of course, Irving's original tale makes a very poor western, despite Irving's own note that the town of Sleepy Hollow was once "infested with…cow-boys" (Irving 288). ut in order to refashion…… [Read More]
Crane, Brunt, And the Prize in Van Tassel
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The rivalry in ashington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow seem to indicate not a competition between one readily deserving lover over an undeserving antagonist, but a showcasing of economic greed and societal expectations. Ichabod and Brom Bones are two opposite spectrums of imperfect, though expected caricatures of men of the time period. Katrina Van Tassel, on the other hand, is merely part of the positive end to Ichabod and Brom Bones' means. hile Ichabod and Brom Bones find different methods in the attempt to win Katrina's heart -- Ichabod being more successful than his rival -- there is no doubt that the two view the hand of Katrina as a mere principle of a larger goal; there is no form of love in the tale.
Ichabod Crane's physical description depicts the schoolteacher as an ungainly man; he…… [Read More]
Curious young astronomers who ask, "what are stars made of?" And "Why do astronauts float in space?" will find answers here. A brief survey of the universe in a question and answers format.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 28 pages
Tayleur, K. Excuses! Survive and Succeed by David Montimore Baxter. (Mankato, MN) Stone Arch Books: 2007
Young David Mortimore Baxter, who knows how to stay out of trouble, shares excuses for avoiding chores, bullies, homework, and vegetarian dinners. David experiences his fifteen minutes of fame and the impacts it has on his friends and family.
Reading level: 9-12
Paperback: 80 pages
Williams, M. The Velveteen Rabbit. Square Fish: 2008.
By the time the velveteen rabbit is dirty, worn out, and about to be burned, he has almost given up hope of ever finding the magic of love. The original "Toy Story."
Reading level: Ages…… [Read More]
Amazingly, all of the movies mentioned above ranked in the top ten at the box office. atman was the most financially lucrative with a number one box-office rating and a total gross of just over $251 million followed by atman Returns with a number two box-office rating and a total gross of nearly $163 million. Ed Wood was the least successful and came in at number nine at the box office and grossed about $5.8 million (Tim urton FAQ).
In 2001, urton's Planet of the Apes was panned by the critics, leaving some to question if urton had lost his luster. (Andac). About the same time as Planet of the Apes, both of urton's parents died within a short space of time (Jackson and McDermott, 2004). In 2003, he bounced back with ig Fish, a story of a man trying to reconnect with his dying father. This was one of…… [Read More]
The expansion meant progress and it implemented the idea of progress into the minds of the new people. As Thomas Jefferson noted, the permanent moving forward of the boundaries and the idea of growth and multiplication enhanced the feeling of unfailing progress: "However our present interests may restrain us within our limits, it is impossible not to look forward to distant times, when our rapid multiplication will expand itself beyond those limits, and cover the whole northern, if not southern, continent, with a people speaking the same language, governed in similar forms, and by similar laws; nor can we contemplate with satisfaction either blot or mixture on that surface." (Peterson, Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation, 1970, p. 746) Turner was the one who has actually laid the basis for a theory of the frontier in American history in the nineteenth century. Before him however, Jefferson, long before he came…… [Read More]
Humor in Literature
American literature is unique in that the attitudes of the works tend to reflect the spirit of the nation and of her citizens. One of the trademarks of American literature is that authors display a tone that can be very serious, but that also can be interpreted as humorous. hereas texts from other cultures are usually more concerned with message and in presenting that message in a dry, even stoic manner, American literature is uniquely capable of mixing the honest and the humorous. Even in the most serious and earnest stories, the sensibility of American humor can be detected. Of course, there are different types of humor. Some stories are flat-out ridiculous and make the reader laugh. Other stories are more sarcastic in their approach to humor and the funny moments have to be analyzed to be better understood. Still other tales are anecdotal and function as…… [Read More]
Miwok developed a strong sense of music as a thread that collectively holds the Miwok people together, a tradition that still holds today as stories of the people are retold and even put into print to be continued into the next generation and shared with other cultures. Miwok legend and stories are often filled with stories of music as a foundation of ideas and concepts of every day living, in both the super and natural worlds.
One of the most foundational of all Miwok legends surrounds the music of nature and how a Falcon tried to capture the music and the tree that made it, the lah'pahi, the elderberry tree. "The tree sang; it sang all the time, day and night, and the song was good to hear. Wek'wek [the falcon] looked and listened and wished he could have the tree." (Merriam, 2004, p. 70) the falcon then asked the…… [Read More]
He might have received his wish but that wish cost him 20 years.
In "Young Goodman Brown," Hawthorne allows us to look at the frail nature of man through Brown's curious nature. He wants to know what is happening in the woods and does not stop to think of the unintended consequences. He does not know what to think when he stumbles upon the scene in the forest. The sight of respectable citizens partaking in a satanic ritual makes Brown feel "overburdened with the heavy sickness of his heart" (Hawthorne 594). He looses faith in man and, subsequently, faith in God, wondering if there was a "heaven above him" (594). He vows to "stand firm against the devil" (294) despite everything but the knowledge of his wife in the forest proves to be more than he can bear. Hawthorne utilizes the aspect of change to demonstrate the fragile human psyche.…… [Read More]
Man of the Crowd
By Edgar Allan Poe (1840)
The story significantly depicts not only the preoccupation of the 17th hundred London issues and a trend brought by the progressive industrialization of time, but speaks so much relevance in our modern time as well. The epigraph which sums up the very essence of the story explains the dynamic of a human being too busy to mingle with the crowd for fear of facing the haunting memory of a disturbed self, the lonely person, the conscience and the unsettling disturbances deep within. The epigraph "Such a great misfortune, not to be able to be alone" is rich in context within the story, but also a rich source of reflection of a human and societal struggle. I firmly believe in the relevance of the story not only in its significance to the theme and era when this story was written, but for…… [Read More]
Thomas Paine was an earlier conqueror of the special association that was formed between America and France. His part in this association was initiated with his responsibility of the post of American Congress Secretary of Foreign Affairs where he continually used dialogue to make relations between the two better. He retained this post throughout the American evolution. Paine, however, is better noted for his works written throughout the American and French evolutions Eras. In his writings, Paine offered spirited protection of accepted autonomy, human rights, and the republican government. Both Common Sense (1776) ights of Man (1791-1792) stick out as the most broadly read political areas from the era. Paine's distinctive global thought also can serve as the building blocks for liberal cosmopolitanism in worldwide relations. His unrelenting faith in aspects of democratization, free trade, and respect for human rights being the factors that cut back worldwide conflict stands among…… [Read More]
Thomas Paine & the American Crisis
Thomas Paine and the American Crisis
Thomas Paine was a brilliant political propagandist. He devoted his life to the causes of freedom, liberty, and justice and believed in the essential rights and liberties of all human beings, including the right to resist tyrannical authority. These beliefs are evident in The American Crisis, written at the height of the revolution to rally American forces. After its publication, it was very difficult for colonists not to be convinced that separation from British rule was the correct course of action.
Paine's work was directed toward erasing political and social injustices rather than creating new political systems. He argued for the natural rights of man and that the state existed to serve man, not the reverse. "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the…… [Read More]