How does The Legend of Sleepy Hollow portray supernatural elements?  

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One of the most interesting things about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the way that the lines between the supernatural and the realistic are continually blurred; in fact, the ambiguity created by the story’s events is partially responsible for the popularity of the tale long after its original publication. If we examine the descriptions of the supernatural in relation to how they are juxtaposed against the realistic, then we can better understand how sometimes the supernatural and natural are conflated with each other so that it becomes impossible to tell what is real.

In the story’s second paragraph we are led to believe that Sleepy Hollow has a supernatural history. It is described as having “a drowsy, dreamy influence [that] seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere .” By relating the place to a dream, Irving connects the landscape -- that which is palpable and can be perceived -- to that of dreams, which are abstract and surreal. He then says, “Some say...

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