May 20, 2015
Week 5 Discussion Questions
1. In Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” is Ichabod Crane interested into Katrina Van Tassel just for love, or is he greedy for Van Tassel’s wealth and power as well? Explain fully and use some quotes from the text to support your position. At first, when Washington Irving—Diedrich Knickerbocker—describes the thoughts on Katrina Van Tassel from Ichabod Crane’s point of view, one can come to conclusion that he does indeed have some sort of feelings towards her by the way he is illustrating her. For an example, Ichabod Crane states, “She was a blooming lass of fresh eighteen; plump as a partridge; ripe and melting and rosy-cheeked as one of her father’s peaches” (46). The writings go on to describe how Katrina Van Tassel is not known so much for her beauty, but that she is known for her “vast expectations.” Although Crane is somewhat attracted to Katrina, all of these positive feelings are put to an end when Ichabod Crane visits her residence. Washington Irving writes, “That so tempting a morsel soon found favour in his eyes, more especially after he had visited her in her paternal mansion” (47). This statement is the turning point in which Ichabod Crane’s attitude becomes quite greedy. As this story proceeds, Crane’s greediness keeps becoming more and more apparent. This greediness is not only from seeing the Van Tassel’s mansion, but from seeing their land as well. The narrator writes, “As the enraptured Ichabod fancied all this, and as he rolled his great green eyes over the fat meadow lands, the rich fields of wheat, of rye, of buckwheat, and Indian corn…his heart yearned after the damsel who was to inherit these domains” (48). This clearly confirms the theory that all of these great expenses did in fact lead Ichabod to fall even more so in love with the young Katrina Van Tassel; however, this young lady did not complete the heart of Ichabod Crane. Irving states, “When he entered the house, the conquest of his heart was complete” (48). It was then that Crane realized that if he could actually capture the love of Katrina, all of these materialistic items could be turned into wealth, investments, and money—this overwhelmed him with happiness. Not only did this create love and happiness within Ichabod Crane, but it also created a peaceful and steady mind. Irving writes, “From the moment Ichabod laid his eyes upon these regions of delight, the peace of his mind was at an end, and his only study was how to gain the affections of the peerless daughter of Van Tassel” (48). From this point on, Crane was in full determination to win over the young lady’s heart, but only for the wealth that had been presented right before his eyes.
2. Is anyone else in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” greedy, or does Ichabod stand out in a town full of decent people? Is Katrina in some ways greedy for power over the local men’s hearts? Explain fully and use some quotes from the text to support your position. When it comes to greediness, Ichabod takes the win over anyone else that is described in this story; his greediness is the main greediness that is displayed throughout almost all of this story as well. After he is introduced to the Van Tassel’s mansion and land, his greediness to contract the young Katrina Van Tassel’s heart is uncontrollable. All of the materialistic items are said to capture his heart and mind. For example, the narrator writes, “…the conquest of his heart was complete”…