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On the eastern side of the Hudson River in New York, there is a small market town called Tarrytown. About two miles from Tarrytown is a little valley. People call it "Sleepy Hollow." The ancestors of the people there are the original Dutch settlers of New York. These Sleepy Hollow people tend to be highly imaginative and often claim to have seen ghosts.

The major ghost of the region is the spirit of a horseman without a head. This spirit, so people say, rides every night to find his companions. And it is said that as he goes to churchyard where he is buried, he rides as fast as the wind.

Soon after the end of the U.S. Revolutionary War(1775-6), a man named Ichabod Crane came to Sleepy Hollow to be the teacher in the area. Ichabod was tall and thin. His head was small and flat at the top. He had big ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long thin nose.

Ichabod taught in a one-room school house where he used a small tree branch to strike misbehaving students. He punished the Dutch children most. But he was careful to get along with the students whose mothers were good cooks, because his salary was low and he had meals at different families.


Ichabod made himself useful in many ways. He helped the farmers with their daily works. He also passed gossip around to their wives. Besides, he was the unoffical chorus director for the area. In the winter evening, he listened to and accepted all the ghost stories the old Dutch wives told. As he walked home at night, every bush looked to him like a ghost covered in a sheet.

Soon Ichabod Crane became interested in Katrina Van Tassel, the only child of Baltus Van Tassel. Mr. Van Tassel had a big farm. From the time Ichabod met Van Tassel and had a look at his farm, Ichabod's main purpose in life was to make Katrina his wife.

However, Ichabod did have a rival, Abraham Van Brunt, whose nickname was Brom Bones. Brom was very strong and very naughty. Although he did not really do any evil thing, he liked to play jokes on others. He also wanted Katrina to be his girlfriend. Katrina was not really interested in him, but she certainly did not discourage him. Ichabod did not want to compete publicly with Brom. Ichabod just made use of every opportunity he had to see Katrina. But Brom tried very hard to play jokes on Ichabod at his schoolhouse and during his singing classes.

One autumn day Ichabod was invited to a party that evening at Mynheer Van Tassel's. In the afternoon, Ichabod spent an extra thirty minutes brushing his old and only suit. Ichabod then borrowed a horse named Gunpower from Hans Van Ripper, a bad tempered farmer he lived with. Gunpower was a thin and old plowhorse. In fact, Ichabod was really a strange-looking creature on the horse.{sleepy,hollow,观后感}.

All the important people of the area came to Heer Van Tassel's castle that evening, including Brom Bones. Ichabod was happy that he was invited. As he enjoyed the delicious food, he smiles to himself that he might become the owner of the farm one day.

When the music began, Ichabod danced with Katrina. Then he went to join a group

of older folks and exchanged stories about the war and the Hollow's ghosts. These included the story of the tree where Major Andre was killed, and of course, the story of the headless horseman.

Soon the party broke up; Ichabod, however, stayed on to talk with Katrina for a little while. When he left her he felt somewhat disappointed, without knowing exactly how she felt about him. He rode off on the old horse he had borrowed.

It was the middle of the night when Ichabod approached Major Andre's tree. This was the place where so many of the ghost story scenes supposedly took place. He heard a groan and saw something white, but he passed by. Two hundred yards ahead there was a bridge over a river. This was in an area known as Wiley's Swamp. Here the road looked dark because of the shadows from the oaks and chestnut trees.

Ichabod's horse, Gunpowder, suddenly stopped before the bridge. And just then Ichabod saw something huge climbing upward in the shadow of the grove. Ichabod was terrified. He asked in unsteady voice: "Who are you?" There was no response. And the unknown thing moved to the center of the road. This thing appeared to be a large horseman, on a powerful black horse!{sleepy,hollow,观后感}.

Ichabod quickened his horse, and the stranger kept up with him. When Ichabod's horse slowed down, the other horse did too. Ichabod's heartbeat quickened. As he turned around, he was shocked to see that the horseman did not have a head! The head was carried beside the saddle.

Ichabod tried to get away from the monster, but all he did was in vain. The monster came closer and closer. As they reached the churchyard, the monster hit Ichabod with its own head. Ichabod fell off and tumbled headlong into the dust. Next morning the old horse was found. But no one could find Ichabod. What they did find was a shattered pumpkin on the ground.

The people in the area came to the conclusion that Ichabod had been carried off by the galloping horseman. But an old farmer, who had been to New York City, learned that Ichabod was still alive and became a judge in the city. Brom Bones, in the meantime, had married Katrina. Whenever he heard anyone tell this story, he always smiled. He laughed especially heartily when anyone mentioned the pumpkin. The old country wives, however, still believe that Ichabod was carried away by some supernatural spirits.

B10712 赵凡


美国文学review The Legend of Sleepy Hollow 睡谷的传说{sleepy,hollow,观后感}.

REVIEW – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

At my first sight, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow seemed like an innocent tale about a superstitious New England town threatened by a strange new comer, Ichabod Crane. However, Washington Irving is never the man writing according to the common sense. “Once upon a time” is the predictable beginning of a fairy tale and “happily ever after” is the ending. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving is a classical myth that defies the conventional standards of a fairy tale. This descriptive narrative is more than just a simple tale, because it addresses several gender issues deserving attention. Setting in a valley in New England, it’s a gothic tale of mystery and suspense.

In this short story, there are two main characters, Ichabod Crane and Bram Bones. These two heroic characters both desire the same woman, Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter of a substantial Dutch farmer. Apart from the fact that they both yearn for the same woman, these two men are completely different creatures. They are the representatives of different sides in the new America period. The conflict between Enlightenment and Romantic ideals is narrated. Irving’s story is an exploration of the conflict between these two schools of thought. Irving uses his setting, his characters, and his moral to criticize the Enlightenment. At first reading, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow may seem no more than a dreamy folk tale. But when read in the context of the emerging resistance to Enlightenment thinking, it reveals itself to be the pioneer of American Romantic literature.

Irving’s style is easy to find in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Differing from

preceding writers, he is a setting master, creating a new way for American literature after the War of Independence. Normally, literature and politics are affected by each other. Irving’s work followed the time and exceeded it perfectly







作者在《睡谷传奇》幽默风趣的语言,无处不在的揶揄搞笑也使得读者常常忍俊不禁。文中幽默风趣的语言首先表现在奇特的比喻上。作者还使用夸张手法,增加幽默效果。不容他人阻碍他的爱情的布鲁姆,性子比暴烈的阿喀琉斯更甚。阿喀琉斯是《伊利亚特》中的英雄,由于统帅阿加门农把已经许给他的战利品——他所深爱的一个美丽女孩送走了。这种夸张手法增加了布鲁姆在克莱恩心目中的威摄力。此外,作者还对个性突出的人和动物,在取名上都花了不少功夫。主人公克莱恩(Crane)与他的外表恰如其分地吻合;布鲁姆是一个体格强壮的年轻人,作者给他取了个绰号“骨头布鲁姆”(Brom Bones);克莱恩借来的老马性情暴烈,被称为“火药”等(Gunpowder);布鲁姆的马匹象他本人一样,又淘气又大胆,因此得名“鬼大胆”(Dare devil)。这些绰号的使用把一个个有趣的形象展现在读者面前,为故事增加了许多幽默风趣的气氛。



My perspectives:

Firstly, I would like to admit that Washington Irving, the first American writer enjoying the international reputation and also a representative of American Romanticists in early American literary history, won the great title of “Father of American Literature.” His works range from the fantastic tales to the serious historical biographies. The readers across the Atlantic were most fascinated by his English

literary manner and the beautiful American setting in his imaginative fictions, and by the artistic and elegant qualities in Irving’s works, as well as its satire which appears genial or ungentle. These qualities have raised American literature to a place in the world's literature. Irving helps to discover “real America” and he caricatures the ridiculous aspects of American life: materialism, complacency and smugness with his remarkable satirical essays. He is a detached observer and commentator of the rather panoramic life of his time; he is a satirist, critic and judge of that age with his unique feature. Through transplanting the European folklore to American land, Irving created American legends, but this method is often regarded as a severe imitation of European literature. But it still has a great impact on America, including the latter writers’ writing style and the way of southwestern humor etc. Each coin has two sides, and in terms of it, we should take the essence and discard the dregs.{sleepy,hollow,观后感}.

Then, as for the ideas of the writer, Xiaochenglong, I do agree with him and the following I will have a detailed illustration of these features mentioned above in my own point of view.

The first feature of romantic technique of expression is prominent through the fiction. The classics written in graphic format can give young adults a new perspective of great literature. This collection has an excellent graphic format with detailed illustrations from beginning to the ending. All of the essential and relevant elements of the story are included to give the reader an accurate adaptation of the original work. Young adult readers will enjoy the full horror of the story under the graphic description of surroundings. This is an excellent addition to the graphic novel collection that will allow struggling readers the ability to understand some of the classics in a simpler format, while the graphic illustrations will appeal to reluctant readers. Under the influence of European literature, he is also excellent in quotation with rhetoric devices to achieve the delicate and humorous description, involving the using of alliteration、metaphor、simile and so on. That is a magic way of making characters in the legend of sleepy hollow lively and vivid.

The second character of humorous and witty language also impressed readers. The recipe lies in that Irving made these the plain dramatic people more theatrical with his talent for humor and the readers found the familiar characters that are quite similar to their imagined Ichabod and Brom or even more vivid and lively. In his novels he seldom discusses but shows the living circumstances and the characters’ personality by developing the plots step by step. In addition, his tone of wit and humor makes the story told in the leisurely and pleasing way. A great many illusions and fantasies can be found in his fiction, which serve only as the method to render the story more fascinating and absorbing, not as the terminal aim. We can perceive the humor through the all article, from the exaggeration of the schoolmaster’s appearance and actions and the sharp contrast of characters of the two rivals in love to the contrast comparison between human and animal of their funny nicknames. Throughout the detailed illustrations of things, for instance, the party in Katrina’s house, Ichabod was even treated and regarded as a tool to promote the affections between Bones and Katrina. What’s more, Ichabod’s encounter with the Headless Horseman is the dramatic climax of the story. The absurd ending makes readers laugh with scorn and

unconsciously think what a stupid person he is.

Actually, in the novel, Ichabod Crane is “a precocious effete New Englander, shrewd, commercial, a city-slicker, who is rather an interloper, a somewhat destructive force, in village life, and who comes along to swindle the villagers.” Ichabod Crane is the target of satire in the story as a destroyer not in harmony with the self-satisfied region. Due to his narrow-mindedness, avarice, snobbery and credulity, so he couldn’t succeed in wooing Katrina and is finally driven out of the region of the Dutch through a humor way.

All in all, this novel has demonstrated the real background in America at that time. In characterization of Ichabod and Brom Bones, Irving successfully targeted an archetype half built in the public imagination, and skillfully localized the figures in foreign stories into American legendary characters. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow portrays the contradictory culture long reflected in the American literature. We appreciate his contributions to the advance of writing in American history, now what we can learn from him is the practical attitude and passion for writing.





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