The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Questions and Answers
by Washington Irving

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What is the conflict in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"?

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Aside from the obvious conflict between Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones, there are a number of other conflicts at work in Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. First, the beliefs of the very town are in conflict with the larger region, as those in the town subscribe to various superstitions, including that of the Headless Horseman. Irving comments on the discrepancy, going so far as to say that when outsiders come to Tarrytown

they are sure, in a little time, to inhale the witching influence of the air, and begin to grow imaginative, to dream dreams, and see apparitions.

Within Ichabod himself is also the conflict between his fondness for supernatural tales and their effects on his imagination. Washington writes of Ichabod's enjoyment of ghost stories:

But if there was a pleasure in all this, while snugly cuddling in the chimney corner of a chamber that was all of a ruddy glow from the crackling wood fire, and where, of course, no spectre dared to show its face, it was dearly...

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