Sleepy Hollow: An American Transformation

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An American Transformation After the American Revolution, our nation is recovering; it also is modernizing as a result of innovation in the country. During a period of industrialization in the 1800’s,The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was written by Washington Irving,which is a representation of change in America. Irving is a writer best known for this short tale. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow tells the story of Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, Katrina and Hans Van Ripper. Ichabod Crane is the main character who symbolizes American modernization and the breakdown of the nation’s values. The story is an admonition from the author,;it warns that change is on the horizon. The clashing ideals of Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones show that Crane is a representation…show more content…
On the flip side, Ichabod is acting cowardly and does not want to participate. Washington Irving uses Ichabod as a metaphor for the future of America and Brom Bones for the past. Washington Irving is showing that America is going to become weak in the face of competition from the pushback of modernization by rural Americans. Brom is “broad-shouldered and double-jointed, with short curly black hair, and a bluff, but not unpleasant countenance, having a mingled air of fun and arrogance. From his Herculean frame and great powers of limb, he” has “the nickname of Brom Bones, by which he was universally known”(12). Brom Bones is a farmer who does not understand the need for education because he works in a career that does not require it, and therefore does not get along with Crane, the school teacher. While Brom is working the land to feed his family and country men, Crane is using his mind to educate, which seems pointless to Brom In addition, Crane has a chance with Katrina because she is attracted to his intelligence, which further angers Brom. He says, “The schoolmaster is generally a man of some importance in the female circle of a rural neighborhood”(7). Any man that jeopardizes another’s chances with a woman is a threat, Ichabod is threatening to Brom Bones despite their differences.The disagreement between Brom Bones and Ichabod Crane is a metaphor for the…show more content…
Patrons of Sleepy Hollow describe “schoolmasters as mere drones”(6). A drone is something that repeats the same action over and over again. The narrator tells that this idea of a drone is a major part of our future, machines performing the same task over and over again in factories. Schooling is a threatening idea to rural farmers, they know what it is but the concept seems foreign to them. Not many people, if any, in the town of Sleepy Hollow like the fact that Ichabod Crane is teaching all the children. A man named Hans Van Ripper, Ichabod’s landlord, burns all of the school teacher’s books because he sees no importance in education, and never attended school himself. “These magic books and the poetic scrawl were forthwith consigned to the flames by Hans Van Ripper; who from that time forward determined to send his children to no more school, observing that he never knew and good of this same reading and writing” (25). Van Ripper does not want to be a part of schooling, he sees it as something unnecessary. This shows the denial of change by citizens of Sleepy Hollow. Nobody likes change and the fact that all of the townspeople are fighting it illustrates the fact that change is indeed imminent. Hans Van Ripper is obviously on the more extreme level, but all members of the community have similar

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