Study Guide

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Appearances

By Washington Irving


Irving spends so much time describing the characters in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" that you'd probably recognize them if you passed them on the street. (Can the same be said for your other favorite literary characters?) But looks aren't only skin deep in this story; they actually define who you are. Got green eyes? Then you're probably greedy. Got big muscles? You're a jock. Why not develop the characters further? Well, you already know all you need to know about them.

Questions About Appearances

  1. Is there anyone who doesn't get an elaborate physical description in "Sleepy Hollow"? Who is it? Why do you think they aren't described? And while you're at it, make up your own description.
  2. Why do you think that Irving focused so much on the appearances of his characters?
  3. Imagine we had no idea what Ichabod looked like. How else could Irving describe him to show us how awkward he is?

Chew on This

What you see is what you get with the characters in "Sleepy Hollow."

Ichabod's appearance doesn't really matter. He'd still be the same greedy, gluttonous guy even if he were a stud.