To what does the author compare Van Tassel to in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In describing Katrina Van Tassel, the author compares her first to a partridge and then to a peach.  He calls her

"A blooming lass of fresh eighteen; plump as a partridge; ripe and melting and rosy cheeked as one of her father's peaches".

The author's description almost makes young Katrina sound like a commodity, one of the lush products of her father's prosperous farm.  This presentation is fitting because although Ichabod Crane is taken with her beauty, he is even more impressed with the financial possibilities she represents.  In truth, Katrina Van Tassel is

"universally famed, not merely for her beauty, but her vast expectations".

The whole community knows that whomever marries the young heiress will receive not only a comely mate, but will inherit a fortune as well.

Katrina's father, Baltus Van Tassel, is described as the

"perfect picture of a thriving, contented, liberal hearted farmer".

He is wealthy beyond measure, but has little imagination; an indulgent father who

"love(s) his daughter better even than his pipe and...let(s) her have her way in every thing". 

At a party he throws at his home one day, Baltus Van Tassel

"move(s) about among his guests with a face dilated with content and good humour",

and his "round and jolly" visage is compared to the harvest moon.

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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