Analysis of The Romantic Elements In Sleepy Hollow

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In the novel Sleepy Hollow, by Peter Lerangis, several elements of the Romantic period of literature are evident. Themes carry throughout the novel that suggest a strong Romantic influence upon the text. The story is rich in colorful figurative language and contains a spell-binding plot that leaves the reader feeling very satisfied. In the midst of such an enchanting story are the Romantic themes, such as a deep appreciation of nature in conjunction with the condemnation of city life, exaltation of emotion over reason along with the defiance of conventional rules and traditions, and interest in local folk/ethnic culture, while providing the reader with plenty of attention to the supernatural. Each of these elements combines to create a…show more content…
It is ironic that for the duration of the beginning of the novel, Crane refuses to allow anyone to speak of such theoretically impossible tales as the tale of the Headless Horseman. However, after seeing the beast for himself, he is pleading with the people of the town that they "must believe [him]," and that he can assure all of them of the visual contact he made with "a horseman. A dead one. Headless!"(Lerangis 66). With his newfound faith in the credibility of the legends around the hollow, Ichabod decides that all of the logic and reason he had previously relied on are of no use to him. It is ironic that one night 's events have changed his views on reasoning so quickly. Nearing the novel 's end, Ichabod burns all of his ledgers and papers that had held his knowledge over the past several years. In doing so, it is apparent that he has accepted the fact that "sense and knowledge had betrayed him in Sleepy Hollow"(Lerangis 125). Ichabod 's sense and knowledge are personified in this passage to show the reader that two ideals which he had held so close to heart and high in regard had proved to be inadequate. This further exaggerates the Romantic ideals of the power of emotion over all reason and logic. Along with this newfound reliance on emotion rather than reason is a defiant quality of all formal rules and traditions. All of the other authoritative figures in New York shun
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