The Role Of Ghost Stories In Washington Irving's The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

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Ghost stories have always been a favorite genre of novel to many people around the world. The thrill of a racing heart produces endorphins that give the human body an epic rush. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving is no exception as it leaves readers searching for answers on the whereabouts of Ichabod Crane. After his mysterious disappearance, many rumors spread about the events surrounding the location of Ichabod. The story of Ichabod’s encounter with the Headless Horseman and its origin as well as the involvement and motives of others proves to be an play an interesting role in this tale. After his horse returns back to its master without Ichabod, Hans Van Ripper conducts a search for Ichabod where Ichabod’s hat and saddle…show more content…
Brom Bones, Ichabod’s rival went out of his way to embarrass and ridicule Ichabod. When it came a common love interest named Katrina, Brom wants to win her affection, “Brom took all opportunities of turning him into ridicule in presence of his mistress, and had a scoundrel dog whom he taught to whine in the most ludicrous manner, and introduced as a rival of Ichabod’s, to instruct her in psalmody” (cite). Brom’s insecurity about his chances of winning the affection of Katrina gives him a perfect motive to want to make Ichabod disappear. Was he somehow involved in Ichabod’s encounter with the Headless Horseman? Brom himself boasts about an encounter that he had with the Horseman, thus audiences could be led to believe that Brom had made an arrangement with the Horseman in order to vanquish Ichabod and win Katrina for himself. Despite the reliability of the narrator, the origin of the story and the motive of others, The Headless Horseman remains a chilling tale that has been passed down from generation to generation. Washington Irving provided an early gothic approach to literature that allowed societies to come to the conclusion that there is more to literature than just serious
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