SH Question #3: The Main Characters

by Washington Irving

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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SH Question #3: The Main Characters

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:33 am

How do the characters of Ichabod, Brom Bones and Katrina play off of each other? Especially the contrast between Ichabod and Brom?

(These pics are from the Disney version. Tomorrow and Thursday we will get into the differences between the story and the movie version…)


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Unread postby Betty Sue » Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:54 pm

Ichabod, Brom and Katrina make an interesting love triangle as she is a pretty little coquette who lets them both completely go for it in their totally opposite ways. She seems to be using them. Brom goes for attention in a loud, fun-filled arrogant way, while Ichabod pursues in a quiet gentlemanly fashion, trying to ingratiate himself with his knowledge and his talent in singing and dancing. Brom joyfully goes about pulling mean tricks on Ichabod to ridicule him while shy, gullible Ichabod buys into the frightening stories of the area. The burly bluff-countenanced Brom and spindly snipe-nosed Ichabod are opposites in appearance and in almost every other way. Katrina has an interesting choice... :eyebrow:
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:00 pm

I sort of saw Ichabod and Brom as representing opposites...one being the city slicker sort of guy and one being the country fellow, one educated and cultured and the other a country bumpkin sort.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:21 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I sort of saw Ichabod and Brom as representing opposites...one being the city slicker sort of guy and one being the country fellow, one educated and cultured and the other a country bumpkin sort.


And I'm having a hard time keeping the movie out of my head. :banghead:
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Unread postby Bix » Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:01 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I sort of saw Ichabod and Brom as representing opposites...one being the city slicker sort of guy and one being the country fellow, one educated and cultured and the other a country bumpkin sort.


I think that that is the way Irving wants us to believe Ichabod sees it also. He spends a great deal of time ridiculing Ichabod (his appearance, his riding, his dancing, etc.) to us, the readers, while also showing us Ichabod's own opinion of himself, which is very high. In fact, I think Ichabod is every bit as arrogant as Brom, in that he has no doubt Katrina will accept his proposal, he will inherit the great Van Tassell wealth, and they will set out together for the frontier. Brom, on the other hand, leads his group of lads in local hooliganism and plays tricks on Ichabod, but is the rightful heir apparent in this triangle as I read the story.

The fact that Irving doesn't tell us exactly how or why Katrina rebuffed Ichabod after the dance makes her more mysterious than she should be, probably. Somehow, I don't feel that she was ever really attracted to Ichabod at all, but was just flirting with him to amuse herself.

(I have the advantage :-? of not having seen the movie, so the above is strictly my own take on the story.)
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:07 pm

Well watch the movie tonight, Bix! :-O
I didn't feel the character of Katrina was as well deveopled as the male characters. She seemed to be more of a device to create tension between the guys.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Endora » Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:44 pm

I too thought that Ichabod seemed a snob, and had a very high opinion of himself. He semed pompous, a bit of a creep (how he sucked up to his landladies) and thought himself above the country people. Brom seemed a lot more direct, it seemed like the author was trying to show the simple virtue of the country people, and also that they were often smarter that the townspeople.

In rural areas around here jokes about Londoners visiting farms and getting everything wrong are always popular.
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:07 pm

Now that you mention it, it is surprising that the much maligned Ichabod had such confidence in winning the lady. I guess I chalked that up to his naivete. Brom's boorishness is not all that appealing either, but it does seem that the popular Katrina preferred him from the beginning and just used Ichabod to spur on Brom--and it worked!
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:31 pm

Endora wrote:I too thought that Ichabod seemed a snob, and had a very high opinion of himself. He semed pompous, a bit of a creep (how he sucked up to his landladies) and thought himself above the country people. Brom seemed a lot more direct, it seemed like the author was trying to show the simple virtue of the country people, and also that they were often smarter that the townspeople.

In rural areas around here jokes about Londoners visiting farms and getting everything wrong are always popular.


I agree, Endora, that he seemed a bit full of himself. Also, I thought Ichabod to be somewhat of a freeloader--making the rounds of the various farms, a week's stretch at a time. But I guess that was not that unusual for the times.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Johnny Fan » Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:29 pm

Well, I'm late as usual to today's discussion, so please forgive me if it sounds like I'm repeating anything that has already been said. :blush:

It definitely seems to me that Ichabod is mainly interested in Katrina Van Tassell because of her family's wealth. That is apparent in this passage particularly:

"As the enraptured Ichabod fancied all this, and as he rolled his great green eyes over the fat meadow-lands, the rich fields of wheat, of rye, of buckwheat, and Indian corn, and the orchards burthened with ruddy fruit, which surrounded the warm tenement of Van Tassel, his heart yearned after the damsel who was to inherit these domains, and his imagination expanded with the idea, how they might be readily turned into cash, and the money invested in immense tracts of wild land, and shingle palaces in the wilderness."

As for the rivalry between Brom and Ichabod, it almost seems that after a while, they care more about who will win the personal "battle" between them than they do about Katrina's feelings.

Bix, you're in for a real treat when you do see the film version of Sleepy Hollow. It's one of my favorite Johnny Depp films. :cool:
"Breath. We tend not to think much about it. Each one is a blessing--every inhale, every exhale." -Johnny Depp

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Unread postby Bix » Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:06 pm

Thanks, JF. I just finished watching it and it was wonderfully evocative of the Washington Irving story in mood and tone. The story, of course, is entirely different - but we'll discuss that tomorrow. Anyway, I'm glad I finally got that one seen! That's my kind of homework!
Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! ~Auntie Mame

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Unread postby Johnny Fan » Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:14 pm

Bix wrote:Thanks, JF. I just finished watching it and it was wonderfully evocative of the Washington Irving story in mood and tone. The story, of course, is entirely different - but we'll discuss that tomorrow. Anyway, I'm glad I finally got that one seen! That's my kind of homework!


I'm glad you were finally able to see it, Bix. It is pretty different from the original story, isn't it? It should definitely be an interesting discussion tomorrow... :cool:
"Breath. We tend not to think much about it. Each one is a blessing--every inhale, every exhale." -Johnny Depp

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Unread postby Liz » Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:43 pm

I can't wait until tomorrow and Friday's questions. :bounce:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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