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A Couple Questions on "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"!?

Okay here they are:

1. What examples from the story can support what Ichabod Crane looks like?

2. What would be a good symbol for this story? Why?

3.Why was Ichabod Crane's appearance important in this story?

Thank you SO much!!!!

1 Answer

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  • ck1
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Here's the description of Ichabod Crane from the story:

    "The cognomen of Crane was not inapplicable to his person. He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather-cock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him, one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield."

    Food could be one of the symbols since it's used as imagery in the story. It could represent Ichabod's ambition, his appetite if you will, to win Katrina and her inheritance, to better himself, to be thought important. However, that same appetite lead him to believe all the superstitions and tales he was told, so it could also represent his downfall. From the story: "He was, in fact, an odd mixture of small shrewdness and simple credulity. His appetite for the marvellous, and his powers of digesting it, were equally extraordinary; and both had been increased by his residence in this spell-bound region. No tale was too gross or monstrous for his capacious swallow."

    Also from the story, when he is seeing the Van Tassel's place: "The pedagogue's mouth watered as he looked upon this sumptuous promise of luxurious winter fare. In his devouring mind's eye, he pictured to himself every roasting-pig running about with a pudding in his belly, and an apple in his mouth; the pigeons were snugly put to bed in a comfortable pie, and tucked in with a coverlet of crust; the geese were swimming in their own gravy; and the ducks pairing cosily in dishes, like snug married couples, with a decent competency of onion sauce. In the porkers he saw carved out the future sleek side of bacon, and juicy relishing ham; not a turkey but he beheld daintily trussed up, with its gizzard under its wing, and, peradventure, a necklace of savory sausages; and even bright chanticleer himself lay sprawling on his back, in a side dish, with uplifted claws, as if craving that quarter which his chivalrous spirit disdained to ask while living." The story continues like this. This food, then, can be translated into wealth (in his mind).

    If you go with food (thus appetite - as well as ambition) as the symbol, his appearance becomes very important since it would seem he is never quite satisfied. He never gets everything for which he longs; he's never full. (He looks like a scarecrow, or one who is never fed.) Not only that, but his looks also seem to be at odds with his ambition, since he doesn't overcome them with a great personality.

    If you want to check to find a symbol you may find more suitable, here's http://www.online-literature.com/irving/geoffrey_c... the story online. I mention food since Washington Irving seems to use it quite a lot throughout the story as imagery representing various things and characteristics.

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