February 28, 2013
Seeing What You Believe
Having strong ties to a particular subject causes strong feelings on it. When you believe in something you are, in my opinion, more likely to see it or think you’ve seen it. In Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Irving tells a story of just this type of situation.
In Greg Smith’s “Supernatural Ambiguity and Possibility in Irving’s ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’,”, Smith makes many claims on the occurrences in the story. One of the claims that stuck out to me the most was how he talks about how rather or not the headless horseman was real was left as an open-ended topic. Diedrick Knickerbocker, the narrator of the story, never actually claims a solution to what happened to the Ichabod Crane and how he disappeared. Smith refers to the fact that at the end of the story, Knickerbocker states that “the old country wives maintain to this day that Ichabod was spirited away by supernatural means.”(Smith par. 11). Smith also brings up the conversation in the “Postscript” in which a man is sharing the story of Ichabod Crane’s disappearance (Smith par. 12). The narrator of this part, who I believe to be Ichabod, ends the story by saying “Faith sir.. I don’t believe one half of it myself”(Smith par. 12). Another claim smith makes is that “Sleepy Hollow” might not have been as good of a story had Brom Bones been found guilty of being the horseman (Smith par. 8). Leaving the possibility of a supernatural event draws the reader in, opens up debatable topics and causes people to want to share their opinion on what they feel happened.
In Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a pedagogue school teacher lets his imagination of the supernatural and his desire for wealth get the best of him and he scares himself out of town. Brom pretends to be the Headless Horseman and is able to drive Ichabod out of town by using his fears,...