Study Guide

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Greed and Gluttony

By Washington Irving

Greed and Gluttony

If you could describe Ichabod in one word, what would it be? Ugly as all get out? Oh wait, that's five words. Let's try again, and we'll be less superficial this time. How about greedy? This guy wants everything—the girl, the bling, the pancakes—and his green eyes don't hide it. Irving really works his humorous chops in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," turning Ichabod's greed into an exaggerated bundle of absurdity. But our author does stick to one common convention (sorry, Gekko): greed is not good.

Questions About Greed and Gluttony

  1. Why do you think Irving chose greed to be one of Ichabod's strongest character traits? Why not sloth or lust or some other fun deadly sin?
  2. Is anyone else in the story greedy, or does Ichabod stand out in a town full of decent people? 
  3. How would the story change if Ichabod got the girl? What would that say about greed?
  4. Wait a second, greed? Isn't it more just gluttony? What do you think—is Ichabod in it just for the food, or does he want the wealth and power, too?

Chew on This

Ichabod's eyes are too big for his stomach. When the Headless Horseman attacks him, it serves him right.

Ichabod isn't the only greedy one around these parts. Katrina is greedy for power over guys' hearts.