drawing of the headless horseman holding a pumpkin and riding a horse through the woods

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

by Washington Irving

Start Free Trial

What does the narrator's description of Sleepy Hollow's valley foreshadow?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A description of a setting can often foreshadow events to come in the novel. In this story, the description of Sleepy Hollow in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" directly foreshadows the supernatural events that take place. Particularly, the phrase "powerful unknowns" can point to the mysterious, supernatural occurrences of the Headless Horseman. The word "mischief" foreshadows the tricks played upon Ichabod by Brom Bones and his mischievous, rugged gang. Before knowing the exact storyline of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," one can make some guesses from the description of the setting that the short story may contain spooky myths or folklore. Indeed, the title of the story, which also contains the name of the setting, suggests some sort of mystery or folklore.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial