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Ichabod Crane and Abraham Van Brunt Essay

In the short story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow you will find two very different men, Ichabod Crane and Abraham Van Brunt, competing against each other for but one woman’s hand in marriage, Katrina Van Tassel. Katrina Van Tassel was a ravishing young lady of only eighteen and the only child of a very wealthy farmer named Baltus Van Tassel. Her father paid little attention to her other than to be proud of her good doings when they were praised by others. Because of her beauty, along with the wealth of her father, Katrina had the interest of many men. Although these men were driven away in defeat by a man named Abraham Van Brunt, whom also had a strong interest in Katrina.

Abraham Van Brunt, also known as Brom Brunt, was tall and extremely hansom with dark curly hair. He was described as muscular and strong, thus he was given the nick name Brom Bones by the townspeople. Brom was known for his rambunctious personality, his love for pranks, and his admirable great skills on horseback. He was known as the “village hero.” He wanted Katrina’s hand in marriage, not because he loved her, but because he was determined to inherit the wealth of her father Baltus. Brom managed to scare off all the other suitors of Katrina with violence and physical confrontation. He had no competition! That is until Ichabod Crane came along.

Ichabod Crane was a shy school teacher who had traveled from his home state of Connecticut to Sleepy Hollow, New York. He came to teach the children about the area. He was known to be a strict teacher, but not cruel. Ichabod was described as a lanky man; tall and thin with big hands and feet and also a rather large nose. He was said to be an awkward n clumsy man. Although he was a rather thin man, he was capable of eating plenty and was often looking forward to do so. He was an extremely superstitious man, so much that he believed in every myth, legend, and tall tale to be truth. This resulted in him easily being scared of anything that reminded him of ghost, goblins, witches, demons, etc.

Despite his awkwardness, Crane was a very sociable man. I guess he had to be considering the fact that he would live at the homes of the townspeople, a different one every week. He was said to be a kind man. He would sometimes walk his students home from school, he would play with some of the bigger kids, and he would even help farmers with all of their farming duties. Many women took a liking to Ichabod because he was known to be kind and gentlemanlike. Also, he loved to sing and he had a beautiful voice and the ladies loved it! In fact, his voice was so beautiful that he also taught the townspeople to sing and also led the choir at the village’s church.

Katrina was a student of Ichabod. When he had first met her, like many others, he was mesmerized by her beauty. Although it wasn’t until he had met her father and seen her farmhouse that he felt he was in love with her. To me it seemed as if he had just fallen in love with the idea of inheriting her father’s wealth, but the story says he was in love with her and wanted her heart, not just her wealth. Of course, this didn’t sit well with Brom Brunt at all, and he would try to chase Ichabod off. But Brom couldn’t do it in his usual way of violence, because Ichabod had a way of avoiding physical confrontation with him. So instead, Brom would use his second best skill, pranks!

Knowing that Crane was a superstitious man who was easily scared, Brom would begin to taunt and tease him with scary stories, including the town’s most famous one, the legend of the headless horseman. This would eventually mark the end of Ichabod Crane. The story tells that one night after attending a party held at the Van Tassel home, when Ichabod was walking home, he had an encounter with what seemed to be the headless horseman. He was never to be seen again. Some believed that it was actually the headless horseman himself who had taken the life of Ichabod, but others believed that is was just Brom Bones in costume out to get what he wanted, Crane gone!

As you can see, in comparison, these two men were very different from each other. Quite the opposite I’d say. The only thing that they shared a common ground with each other would be their desire for the Katrina Van Tassel and her inheritance. Even then, they would attempt to woo her in very different ways, Crane with his songs and his stories of superstitions, and Brom with his violence and strength. Besides the way these men look, their personalities and even their interests and talents were very different. I’d say Brom Bones was a man of good looks and brawn but rather rowdy, rude, and perhaps cruel. While Ichabod was a sensitive man with a kind heart and although he was lanky and awkward looking he was a gentleman with good social skills.


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