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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Washington Irving

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Course Hero. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Study Guide." May 11, 2017. Accessed June 28, 2017. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Legend-of-Sleepy-Hollow/.


Course Hero, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Study Guide," May 11, 2017, accessed June 28, 2017, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Legend-of-Sleepy-Hollow/.


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow infographic thumbnail

Author: Washington Irving

Years Published: 1819–20

Type: Short Story

Genre: Horror, Satire

Perspective and Narrator:

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" uses a third-person narrator, Diedrich Knickerbocker. Knickerbocker has recorded the story based on an oral retelling he heard from an old man, so the reader is removed several times from the story by the framing devices.


"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is told in the past tense, although the framing devices at the beginning and end of the story, not including the postscript, are in the present tense.

About the Title:

A legend is a story that is believed to be true by many but cannot be proven to be true. Sleepy Hollow is the name of the valley where this legend takes place. Based on the title, Irving emphasizes the ghostly mood of the place, rather than a specific ghost such as the Headless Horseman, and he wishes readers to know from the very beginning that the story may or may not be true.


This study guide and infographic for Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents, Q&A pairs, and flashcards created by students and educators.

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