Thursday, 11 November 2010

Character Connection: Ichabod Crane

This is a wonderful meme hosted by Jen at The Introverted Reader. Every week, you share one literary character that you love with your fellow bloggers. You talk about the character, say why you love them and hope that everyone else will love them too.;) Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

MY POST IS ABOUT: Ichabod Crane

Ichabod Crane is a character in the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. He comes to Sleepy Hollow as a teacher, living every week at a different villager’s house. He is very thin, but eats a lot. He is extremely superstitious and believes just about any myth and legend that exist. Naturally, he is a very frightened and cowardly man, since he believes in the existence of ghosts and other supernatural creatures.

Ichabod Crane is in love with Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter of a wealthy farmer in Sleepy Hollow. Crane likes both Katrina’s beauty and the fact that she is a rich heiress, so he begins to court her. The sad truth is that Ichabod does not have money or any special merits, so he must constantly rely upon the goodness and generosity of others. Katrina shows affection for Ichabod as well, so things look good for him, until Abraham “Brom Bones” van Brunt, who also wants to marry Katrina, learns that he has a rival. At this point, Ichabod shows some steadfastness of character, as despite Brom’s acts of humiliations, he does not give up and remains Katrina’s suitor. At a harvest festival party, Ichabod even shows that he is socially well adept and he outshines Brom by far.

Ichabod’s story ends very mysteriously. After a strange supernatural encounter, Ichabod is never seen in Sleepy Hollow again. There are two possibilities: either Ichabod’s cowardice won over his love for Katrina or his rival had something to do with his disappearance. Either way, Brom takes Ichabod’s place in Katrina’s life, whereas Ichabod is never heard of again.

I really like Ichabod Crane’s character. He is not outstanding at all, but he is interesting and a bit pitiful. He is a silly, cowardly man who shows at times that there is more to him than just that, but sadly, there are not enough such opportunities for him to show other people just what he is really made of. No matter what happened in the end, his superstitious nature chased him away from Sleepy Hollow, that much is certain. His story is definitely interesting and fun, if not even slightly suspenseful to read.

Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane in Tim Burton's movie Sleepy Hollow.


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I've actually never read this story (or seen Sleepy Hollow) but what a sad ending! It seems like Ichabod was a pretty good man with just a bit too many superstitions.

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

@Bookworm: You got Ichabod in one sentence, exactly. I think you might prefer the movie, then. His story is expanded and his ending is more optimistic.

Blodeuedd said...

I had totally forgotten that that was who he was. mmm And depp sure looks nice like him

Mary Simonsen said...

I love the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I recently visited the Hudson River Valley where Katrina Van Tassel is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery behind the Old Dutch Church, as well as the Hessian solider who was the inspiration for the headless horseman. The route Icabod took on his night ride is marked with a historical marker.

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Mary, this sounds so great! I'd love to visit Sleepy Hollow!

Introverted Jen said...

Mmmmm....Johnny Depp. :-)

I know I've seen that movie, but Ichabod Crane will always be the ungainly one featured in the animated Disney version. I have this story on my nook, but I've actually never read it. I meant to for Halloween. Maybe soon though!