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《美国文学》课件七

发布时间:2014-07-02 15:15:40  

Lecture Seven Washington Irving and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
? "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written while he was living in Birmingham, and first published in 1820. With Irving's companion piece "Rip Van Winkle", "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is among the earliest examples of American fiction still read today.

The Brief Introduction

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The story is set in 1790 in the countryside around the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (historical Tarrytown, New York), in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors.

The Brief Introduction

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The most infamous spectre in the Hollow is the Headless Horseman, said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot away by a stray cannonball during "some nameless battle" of the American Revolutionary War, and who "rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head".

The Plot of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
? The "Legend" relates the tale of Ichabod Crane, a lean, lanky and extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer, Baltus Van Tassel. Crane, a Yankee and an outsider, sees marriage to Katrina as a means of procuring Van Tassel's extravagant wealth.

The Plot of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

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Bones, the local hero, vies with Ichabod for Katrina's hand, exacting a series of pranks on the jittery schoolmaster, and the fate of Sleepy Hollow's fortune weighs in the balance for some time. The tension between the three is soon brought to a head.

The Plot of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

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On a placid autumn night, the ambitious Crane attends a harvest party at the Van Tassels' homestead. He dances, partakes in the feast, and listens to ghostly legends told by Brom and the locals, but his true aim is to propose to Katrina after the guests leave. His intentions, however, are ill-fated.

The Plot of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
? After having failed to secure Katrina's hand, Ichabod rides home "heavy-hearted and crestfallen" through the spook-infested woods between Van Tassel's farmstead and the Sleepy Hollow settlement. As he passes several purportedly haunted spots, his active imagination is engorged by the ghost stories told at Baltus' harvest party.

The Plot of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

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After nervously passing under a lightningstriken tulip tree purportedly haunted by the ghost of the British spy, Major André, Ichabod encounters a cloaked rider at an intersection in a menacing swamp. Unsettled by his fellow traveler's eerie size and silence, the teacher is horrified to discover that his companion's head not on his s

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