Friday, June 1, 2018

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow a short story by Washington Irving, first published in 1820 is a story about Ichabod Crane, a school teacher, originally from Connecticut, who moves to Sleepy Hollow, a small town not far from the Hudson River.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (c) 1820
by Washington Irving
Ichabod is a funny guy, who looks not unlike a crane, being very skinny, with a beak-like nose, and long limbs. He is also given to superstitions, believes in witches, and is frightened of what he fears is out in the dark. This makes his walks home at night a bit scary for him. But otherwise, Ichabod's adventures wouldn't have been all that noteworthy, if Katrina VanTassel hadn't gotten in his path. He takes a liking to her, and also her father's vast farm which Katrina will inherit someday, but Brom VanBrunt, one of the local lads, has already taken a liking to her. 

What happens after a Halloween party at Katrina's (in which she finally makes her disinterest in Ichabod painfully clear) is the main climax of the story, and my favorite part.

The story is often labeled as "horror" but, to me at least, the story is not remotely scary, and is actually quite hilarious. The language, as expected of something written in the early 1800s, is a little old fashioned. Some readers may need a dictionary for some of the old words, but for the most part, even unfamiliar words become understandable, as the meanings of the words tend to be made clear in the context of the sentences in which they are found.

Washington Irving's style is humorous, and often witty and playfully scarcastic. I enjoyed the story immensely, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys classical stories.

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