Washington Irving And The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

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Washington Irving was born in New York City on April 3, 1783 (“Washington Irving”). As a teenager, he traveled through Europe for seventeen years (“Washington Irving”). The experience gave him an appreciation for a culture deeply rooted in a rich history (“Washington Irving”). His distinguished list of works became well known in America and in England, and his success allowed him to be recognized as “the father of American Literature” (“Washington Irving”). Irving was the first American writer to establish the new American identity through his writings, as a result, he is esteemed as one of the “inventors” of the short story (“Washington Irving”). One of Irving’s more famous short stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, was published in 1820 (“Washington Irving”). “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is not merely a significant work of early American fiction, it established the framework for a new style of American folklore in a nation that lacked the historical richness of the European culture; a nation striving to achieve a new identity. It reveals the struggle that emerges as the new American culture must define itself and forge a new way forward. Irving was attempting to establish himself as a serious writer in a time when many Americans viewed such pursuits as folly. The focus of building houses and growing crops took precedence over the arts, including literature. The typical early American writings prior to Irving consisted of journals recording the day to day life in the

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