The Legend of Sleepy Hollow | Study Guide

Washington Irving

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow | Characters

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Character Description
Ichabod Crane Ichabod Crane is a comically portrayed schoolmaster from Connecticut who has few redeeming qualities. A misfit in Sleepy Hollow in many ways, he wants Katrina Van Tassel and the wealth that would come with her, actually believing he has a chance at winning her over Brom Bones. Read More
Katrina Van Tassel 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel is the only child in the wealthy Van Tassel family. Spoiled, pretty, and flirtatious, she is an object of desire in Sleepy Hollow. Read More
Brom Bones Brom Bones, whose birth name is Abraham Van Brunt, is the most popular young man in Sleepy Hollow. He is an athletic, good-natured rogue who desires Katrina Van Tassel and is determined to win her over his main rival, Ichabod Crane. Read More
Baltus Van Tassel Baltus Van Tassel is the successful Dutch farmer who gives his daughter, Katrina, whatever she wants. He is contentedly wealthy without showing off. Read More
Headless Horseman The Headless Horseman is the ghostly main character in the vast folklore tradition that the people of Sleepy Hollow treasure. In the story, he seems to chase the frightened Ichabod Crane home one terrifying night, but it becomes evident the specter is none other than Brom Bones in disguise. Read More
Doubting gentleman The doubting gentleman is present when the storyteller relates the story that is recorded by Diedrich Knickerbocker. He questions the veracity of the tale and asks that its moral and meaning be clarified.
Diedrich Knickerbocker Diedrich Knickerbocker is the narrator of the story, having written the tale down in "his papers" after hearing it told orally by the storyteller. Irving often uses this fictional narrator, an offbeat young scholar of Dutch American history, in his stories.
Storyteller The storyteller is described by Diedrich Knickerbocker as an old farmer. He apparently has some stature in New York, as he is among respected gentlemen when he tells the story that Knickerbocker records in writing.
Hans Van Ripper Hans Van Ripper is the extremely grumpy old Dutch farmer with whom Ichabod Crane is staying at the time of the Van Tassel party and from whom he borrows the horse he rides to the party and back on that fateful night. Van Ripper gets rid of Ichabod's belongings after he disappears.
Dame Van Tassel Dame Van Tassel is the wife of Baltus and the mother of Katrina. She stays happily busy at her many household tasks and does not pay much attention to Katrina's activities.
Van Tassel servant The Van Tassel servant, described as "a negro in tow-cloth jacket and trowsers," comes to the schoolhouse to deliver to Ichabod Crane the formal invitation to the Van Tassel party.
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