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Find the answer key for the topic “THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW” below:

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Discussion Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. The title of the story tells us that we are reading a “Legend.” How does the narrator establish Sleepy Hollow as a legendary place? What role does the theme of legend and gossip play in the passage?
Ans: The descriptions, given of Sleepy Hollow establish it as a legendary place. The stories of ghosts, the traditional beliefs, the ambiance of the town which was described as drowsy and dreamy all lend to its legendary attributes. The story of the Hessian trooper was also a legend believed by the occupants of the territory.
The theme of legend or traditional stories permeates the book as the old men(as seen during the party thrown by Hans Van Tassel), young women and housewives, as well as the teacher, Ichabod, delighted in stories of ghosts and the Hessian trooper. Gossip also played a role in the story as there were many formulated speculations of the whereabouts of Ichabod when he disappeared. It was also rumored that the wealthy farmer refused to give his daughter to the teacher in marriage.

Q.2. How does Ichabod’s love for Katrina Van Tassel emerge? Is he really in love with her? How does the object of his “love” motivate his actions?
Ans: In Washington Irving’s short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane’s attraction to Katrina Van Tassel is largely fueled by her wealth and social status. More than genuine affection, it is Katrina’s ample dowry and inheritance that draws Ichabod to her. This is apparent when Irving writes about how Ichabod starts dreaming about the rich dishes he could devour and the vast farm he can inherit when he marries her.
His anticipated wealth not only makes him more eager in pursuing Katrina but also braver in facing the supposed supernatural elements of Sleepy Hollow. For example, he dares to attend the merry-making at her house, even knowing the event would conclude with ghost stories, which terrify him. Therefore, his actions throughout the story are primarily motivated by material gain rather than genuine love for Katrina.

Q.3. Consider this story as a classic example of American mythology. In the context of this story, what makes America unique? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.
Ans: Freedom is what makes America unique. Having a more promised, better life and future is also what makes America unique.
America Literary is rich with different genres and some twists on their plot. American authors are creative and innovative people.

Q.4. Fear is an important theme in this passage. How does Brom use fear to manipulate Crane? How are the people of the town manipulated by fear of the legends? In other examples from life and literature, how has fear been used to manipulate people?
Ans: Brom uses fear to manipulate Crane’s fears. Brom tells Crane stories about a headless horseman because deep down, he knew that Crane was stronger and quicker and that Crane was a better match for Katrina. As his jealousy grew, he resorted to creating and sowing fear in the mind of Crane.
The legend has also made the townspeople fearful as they believed that the headless horseman was the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head carried away by a cannonball in the Revolutionary War and every night they believed that he was still looking for his head.
An example of how fear is used to manipulate people is when an insurance company manipulates a person into buying rental car insurance by stating that the buyer will surely encounter an accident when he rents a car.


Assessment Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. How is the description of setting in paragraph 7 important to the development of the passage’s central theme of America’s changing history?
Ans: The description in paragraph 7 is a reflection on the gains achieved by the United States, which offers the framework for the rest of the narrative. By demonstrating that Sleepy Hollow and areas like it are immune to reform, Irving reveals that they often suffer from a lack of knowledge that gives rise to superstition and paranoia, as occurs in the story’s key plot.
Around the same time, though, it can be claimed that, regardless of his sentimental portrayal, Irving often laments the absence of creativity that is often the product of change and a more practical life. In this sense, Irving foresaw what remains a huge trend of American literature: striking a compromise between development and tradition, the future and the past.

Q.2. PART A: In paragraph 8, the narrator uses the phrase “worthy wight” to describe Crane. What tone does this suggest?
Ans: facetious

Q.3. PART B: What detail from the story best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: The cartoon-ish quality of Crane’s appearance.

Q.4. As used in paragraph 10, what does the word “smarting” mean?
Ans: hurting

Q.5. PART A: How does Ichabod Crane’s “capacious” appetite make him an easy target for Brom Bones’ tricks?
Ans: He is always hungry so he cannot think logically.

Q.6. PART B: Which paragraph offers the best evidence for the answer in PART A?
Ans: Paragraph 16

Q.7. Which of the following best states what happens to Ichabod in the end?
Ans: He becomes subject of legend.

Q.8. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is considered an example of American mythology. Which statement best summarizes how the passage’s central theme of gluttony allows for this creation of mythology?
Ans: Mythology cannot exist without eager consumers who are willing to believe.

Q.9. How do Ichabod Crane’s and Brom Bones’ individual treatments of the legend of the Headless Horseman reveal their differing perspectives in the passage?
Ans: The paragraph demonstrates that Brom Bones’ perspective of the Headless Horseman legend is that of an insider, as an outsider looking in, Ichabod Crane sees the world through the eyes of someone who’s never been there before. A familiar and chatty narrator like the one chosen by the author contributes to the overall significance of the book by providing a deeper understanding of the mythology, Ichabod’s emotions, and his surroundings.

Q.10. What does the author’s choice to tell the story through the voice of such a familiar and chatty narrator contribute to the overall meaning of the text?
Ans: The author’s decision to use such a recognizable and talkative narrator to convey the narrative adds to the text’s overall significance in a few different ways. It first provides the narrative with a less formal tone, which makes it more relevant and realistic. Second, since individuals often communicate in a familiar and conversational style in real life, it gives the text a more authentic appearance. This decision eventually improves the readability and enjoyment of the tale.


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In CommonLit, “THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW” is one of the students’ favorite stories authored by Washington Irving for grade 12 students.


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