The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow: Remnants of Times Not So Far Past

In Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the theme of haunting is dominant; the haunting itself is purely a human creation and is created solely to meet human needs. Though at times it can seem quite realistic due to emotions evoked through Irving's masterful use of imagery, it is at all times quite fictional, even to the narrator. Haunting is continuously associated with stretches of the imagination, and also mostly with live or animate things: trees, animals, sounds escaping from the wilderness. The idea of haunting, which leads to stories told by the Sleepy Hollow community, begins when there are no answers to curious happenings, or when the given answers are not satisfactory, or even mundane. The idea is then perpetuated when citizens begin to elaborate and incite new notions of ghosts and goblins from the original stories. The 'haunting' begins, however, with supernatural explanations for simple events in the past, such as Andre's capture during the war; though this is a simple and not uncommon event in wartime, Sleepy Hollow is clutching to the past through vivid story telling. The fact that it is storytelling is subtly clear.

One of the key ways that the reader can tell that the haunting is...

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