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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

by Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. How would the story of "Sleepy Hollow" have been if it were written from Katrina's point of view? Would the ending still be the same?
  2. Why are there two parts to the short story? What is the purpose of the postscript? How do these structural aspects change the way we read and think about the story? 
  3. The Headless Horseman terrorizes Sleepy Hollow because he died during the Revolutionary War. What kind of ghost would terrorize a modern Sleepy Hollow? Why?
  4. Irving's purple prose contributes to the mood of "Sleepy Hollow," but could the same effect be achieved with simpler language? How?
  5. Even though the conflict in "Sleepy Hollow" comes from a fight over a lady, there is no romance. Why is that? What would a romantic version of "Sleepy Hollow" look like?
  6. Why has Irving's Headless Horseman made such a mark on American culture? Just what is it about this guy?

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