Book report example: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving is a speculative fiction short horror story that tells a tale of one mystical place and the events that took place there. The story was first published in 1820, while the events in the tale take place in 1790. The events occurred on the eastern shore of the Hudson in Tarry Town, a small Dutch settlement located in a glen called Sleepy Hollow, quiet and serene. The hollow received such a name due to the specific sluggishness of its citizens. The main characters of the story are Ichabod Crane (a strict but not cruel teacher in a school), Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt (a brave rowdy), Katrina Van Tassel (an 18-year-old daughter of a wealthy farmer), and the Headless Horseman (a mysterious character who was supposed to be a hessian trooper, killed during the revolution). The events are focused on the actions of these characters, referring to the style of the book.

As it has already been mentioned, the inhabitants of the hollow were rather slow. The place seemed to be under some kind of spell that had bewildered the minds of local residents, who were living in a dream world. “Some say that the place was bewitched during the early days of the Dutch settlement; others -  that an old Indian chief, the wizard of his tribe, held his powwows there before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudso” (Irving, 2012, p. 2). Thus, the whole place was full of legends and superstitions. However, the main spirit that visited this enchanted place quite often was the Headless Horseman. It is said that this is the shadow of the Hessian cavalryman, who tore off his head with a cannonball in a battle. His body is buried inside the church, and the spirit wakes up at night in search of a severed head.

The story focuses on a poor rural teacher Ichabod Crane, a clumsy lanky young man, a conscientious teacher who faithfully followed the rule of fair punishment and was sure that a child “would remember it, and thank him for it the longest day he had to live days” (Irving, 2012, p. 4). He was a mixture of wickedness and simplicity, he liked to flash education, especially in front of pretty girls, he was the regent of the church choir, and also had an enviable appetite. Ichabod Crane fell in love with Katrina van Tassel, the only daughter of a wealthy farmer, whose hand was sought after by all young men of the area. However, Ichabod considered only Brom Bone as his main opponent, who was a naughty country boy, strong and brave, explained by the author as “the hero of the country round, which rang with his feats of strength and hardihood” (Irving, 2012, p. 10). Thus, the main intrigue of the book was who would marry with Katrina.

The holiday at van Tassel's was the culmination of the story. Ichabod Crane was invited to the event and had rather inspiring plans. He wanted to talk to Katrina, but when he had a conversation with her, he was rather upset with the outcome. It made him return and come across headless horseman. 

Returning home at night, he noticed the rider on a powerful black horse. Ichabod galloped forward in fear, but the rider did not lag behind. At one point the figure of the rider clearly outlined against the night sky, and Ichabod saw that the rider's head was not in the right place – it was tied to the saddle bow. Ichabod's horse raced like a whirlwind, but in the middle of the ravine the poor animal weakened, and the saddle slid to the ground. Ichabod had the thought of how angry the owner who lent him a festive saddle would be, but now he was not up to the saddle: he was hurrying to the church bridge, remembering that it was the place where the specter disappeared. Suddenly, Ichabod saw the horseman get up in the stirrups and throw his head. The head struck with a crash on the skull of Ichabod, and he collapsed to the ground unconscious.

The next morning the old horse without a saddle and without a rider returned to the master. During the search, a broken saddle, Ichabod’s hat, and a smashed pumpkin were found. Everyone thought that the Headless Horseman carried out Ichabod. Several years later, an old farmer traveled to New York. He said that he came across Ichabod Crane, who was alive. Moving to the other end of the country, he became a politician, a deputy, wrote in the newspapers, and, finally, became a judge. As for Brom Bones, he married Katrina van Tassel. Everyone remembered about the case and people sometimes repeated the tale of Ichabod Crane and the headless hessian soldier. They also noticed that Brom Bones began to laugh out loud each time when he heard about the broken pumping. It is possible to predict that he knew much more than he told everyone.

Therefore, you have read a book report sample based on the Washington Irving’s story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. If you want to buy a book report online, we are ready to assist you any time you want and need our help. We complete top urgent tasks of different levels of specialization. Therefore, if you need to buy book report papers, you can definitely turn to us to get top quality assistance.

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