The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Essay

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Bily teaches English at Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan. In this essay she discusses Irving's conception of Sleepy Hollow as an earthly paradise.

Irving's narrator opens "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" with a brief description of Sleepy Hollow itself, "one of the quietest places in the whole world," a place of "uniform tranquillity." Before moving on to introduce his characters he concludes, "If ever I should wish for a retreat, whither I might steal from the world and its distractions, and dream quietly away the remnant of a troubled life, I know of none more promising than this little valley." In this opening, Irving establishes Sleepy Hollow as both of-this-world and not-of-this-world, an "enchanted region" of unparalleled beauty and fertility. Tapping a literary tradition that stretches back literally thousands of years, he sets his story in a comic American version of what is often called an Earthly Paradise...

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This section contains 1,701 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.