Literature Project, Story Map and EssayIn my L.A. class, we all read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".  Now we are supposed to write an essay comparing and contrasting the motif/dominant...

Literature Project, Story Map and Essay

In my L.A. class, we all read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".  Now we are supposed to write an essay comparing and contrasting the motif/dominant idea/theme to other 18th/19th century work, such as that of Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Snow Image), and Edward Everett Hale (The Man Without a Country).  In these short stories, what should I compare and contrast?  All are fiction, and some are realistic, some are not.  Are there particulars someone can point out to put in my paper? 


Thank you!

Expert Answers
linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you compare Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" to one of Nathaniel Hawthorne's stories, you might contrast the "moral" of each story. Irving seems to have a "this is what you should learn" element in his story without getting into issues of morality and human nature. Hawthorne, on the other hand, seems to want to beat the reader on the head with his morality; he likes to explore the nature of good and evil inside each person. I haven't read the story you've mentioned, "The Snow Image," so forgive me if it isn't a morality lesson like Hawthorne's other works.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You might also consider that all these authors are on the cusp of romanticism as a movement...focus on the use of nature, the preference of the individual over society as a whole, the use of the supernatural, the use of imagination, the use of the gothic in the stories you mention.  I have not read all of these stories, so you will need to go back and select one to three of these items to look for.  I would suggest a three column note-taking method with one item for each column.  Go through and mark which stories have which items and to what extent.  Good LucK!

kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another theme that you could address would be that of mystery, as in Sherlock Holmes and Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

cheri080 | Student

Thank you all for the help!  I will try and use those ideas in my essay, and in the rest of the project. (And only have until Monday!)  Now I just have the story map...  and poster...  and 8 other assignments from this story to do!

cheri080 | Student

Thank you!  Yes, the snow image is about a girl out of snow, but the father doesn't believe her to be a real angel, and takes her inside to warm her up, and she melts.  I guess that could be considered morality.

 Do you know if I should be expecting any other people to show up and contribute?  I realize this discussion board is a bit old.

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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