Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Ichabod Crane, the itinerant schoolteacher of Sleepy Hollow, less a character than a caricature, grotesque in his physical appearance. He is very tall, with narrow shoulders and long arms that dangle out of his sleeves; his feet are so large that they might have served as shovels. He has a small flat head, with large ears and a long snipe nose. The teller of the story, Diedrich Knickerbocker, says that to see him striding in profile across a hilltop on a windy day with his clothes fluttering around him, one might take him for “the genius of famine descended on the earth.” Ichabod’s most basic characteristic is his great hunger; Knickerbocker says he has the dilating power of an anaconda and seems able to swallow up everything placed before him. A shrewd New Englander in the midst of simple Dutch farmers, Ichabod wants to swallow up the land that belongs to Katrina Van Tassel’s father. His downfall is the result of his other appetite—his willingness to “swallow,” or believe, everything about the marvelous and the supernatural. Because of his gullible appetite for the marvelous, he is frightened away from Katrina and Sleepy Hollow by Brom Bones, who pretends to be the legendary Headless Horseman.
Katrina Van Tassel
Katrina Van Tassel, the only child of a wealthy Dutch farmer. At the age of eighteen, she is seen by the always hungry Ichabod as “plump as a partridge” and as ripe and...
(The entire section is 514 words.)
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