The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow book cover
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Topics for Further Study

(Short Stories for Students)

Find a few of the many illustrated versions of ' 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow'' in the children's section of the library, or some of the video or filmstrip versions. Compare the pictures of Ichabod Crane in these versions with Irving's descriptions in the text. How precisely does Irving describe Crane? How closely do the pictures match your own vision of Crane's appearance?

Find a copy of ‘‘The Castle of Indolence,’’ a poem from 1748 written by the Scottish poet James Thomson. Why might Irving attached four lines of this poem to his own story? What do the two pieces have in common?

Research the status of African Americans in New York during the end of the eighteenth century. Analyze Irving's casual disrespect for the ' 'Negro'' characters in his story in terms of how his contemporary readers would have responded to it, and in terms of how modern readers might respond.

Closely examine the passages in which Irving describes food in lingering detail. Based on the modern food pyramid, how healthy was the diet of wealthy Dutch farmers in the late 1800s?