Friday, January 2, 2015

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Notes

Cast of Characters:

Ichabod Crane, by Norman Rockwell

v     Ichabod Crane - a local school teacher. He's tall, thin, and ugly - trollish. As a teacher he's strict, but outside the classroom he is flawed. He eats too much, testing every host that invites him to dinner, and he's very scared of ghosts. Ichabod wants to marry Katrina, who's almost half his age.

v     Brom Bones Von Brunt - a big, strong, and handsome young man who also likes Katrina. He has a short temper and likes to bully Ichabod.

v     Katrina Van Tassel - a young lady, with a wealthy father.

v     Baltus Van Tassel - Katrina's wealthy father.

The Plot (SPOILER ALERT!!!):

1. This story takes place in the fictional village of Sleepy Hollow, near the real town of Tarrytown, NY. Ichabod is a fairly new arrival, one of the few educated men in town, but poor. He runs the local school, and people take turns housing him. In exchange, Ichabod does various household chores. He's kind and charming, despite his bad looks.

The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane, by John Quidor

2. Ichabod is scared of ghosts, and the scariest story in town tells of a headless horseman, the ghost of a soldier who lost his head to a cannonball during the Revolutionary War. He travels at night looking for it.

3. Ichabod and Brom both like the same girl. Ichabod could never win in a fight - which Brom tries to start at various times. Ichabod trusts that Katrina's kind nature would mean she cares more about brains than brawn (brute strength).

4. Brom plays a series of practical jokes (Kanadské žartíky) on Ichabod. He stuffed the church's chimney to fill it with smoke during choir practice - Ichabod was the choir master. Brom and his friends broke into the school at night and ransacked it (tearing it apart). Ichabod thought witches had done it. Then, Brom taught a dog to sing, saying it'd make a better choir master than Ichabod.

5. Finally, one summer evening, the Von Tassels have a party and both Brom and Ichabod are invited. Ichabod feels certain he will win her hand, but... she breaks his heart. Turns out she likes Brom.

6. On the way home from this party, Ichabod is chased by the headless horseman, all the way to a bridge where the horseman throws his own head at the poor teacher, hitting him in the head.

Ichabod Crane, by William J. Wilgus

7. The next morning, townspeople find Ichabod's horse and a smashed pumpkin lying near the bridge. But Ichabod is gone. Everyone wonders what ever happened to him, and if he wasn't taken by a ghost. Brom is the only one who thinks the story is funny (because he was actually the "headless horseman").

8. Ichabod isn't dead, he left town, to work in New York City. He won't return to Sleepy Hollow because he's embarrassed, and because he's still afraid of ghosts.

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