Washington Irving was a well-respected author of his time. He had written many works, and most were under his pen name: Diedrich Knickerbocker. Two of Irving’s, or Knickerbocker’s most famous works were that of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Both of these works have similarities as well as differences between them both. The stories were written during the same time period, yet are supposed to have taken place before and after a war. In America, there were lots of pressing issues at hand, and Irving touches on some of these during his works.
Both of these stories take place along the Hudson River, past NYC.
In both of the works, within the first few sentences, it even mentions the words “river Hudson,” which helps us to picture where in America both of these stories supposedly have taken place. The difference about the location within each of these plots is that one is on the eastern side of the river, while the other on the western side.
In RVW, the story seems to hint that the story is taking place BEFORE the revolutionary war while LSH seems to take place AFTER the same war. In LSH, it was stated that the closest town was that of Terrytown, and in RVW, no close town was ever mentioned.
LSH never seems to have much going on within the town itself. The town is pretty relaxed and nothing ever interesting happens within it. In RVW it seems like the town is that of a working class town. It is hinted that RVW even had some farmland where he lived. The jobs of the two main characters in the stories are vastly different. In RVW, Rip was hinted at being a farmer, yet he never did any of the farming on his own land. However, Ichabod was the schoolteacher in LSH. He was one of the most well respected men around the town, just under the village parishioner.
What is ironic in both of these stories is how the main character in RVW was very lazy in a town where everyone seemed to be doing something. In LSH, the main character in a town, with the name “sleepy” in it, was a busy man who did many things. He was a go-getter and was after money. Both of these characters had a woman, wife or love interest, who had the women coming off as very similar to each other. In RVW, his wife, Dame, was a very pushy wife. She would always nag Rip to do things around the house and even died of a stroke by yelling, while Rip was “sleeping”. In
LSH, Ichabod had Katrina Van Tassel as his love interest. Katrina was very catty, flirty and rich. Ichabod really wanted Katrina’s hand in marriage in order for a good investment. Katrina however had other plans, and just played Ichabod like a toy. The next difference you may find within both texts is the way survival is portrayed within them. RVW claims he has been asleep for the past twenty years. When he returns, even his own daughter who is fully-grown thought he was carried off by Indians or shot himself. Finally an old woman recognizes him, and only then does everyone believe RVW survived.
It is also thought that RVW was the first “draft dodger,” and that he never really slept for that long. This would also contribute to the survival of Rip. In LSH, Ichabod is viewed to be killed at the horseman hands. That is until “Knickerbocker” brings back news that he has supposable survived and moved to another part of country and is now a judge. Brom bones laughs at the shattered pumpkin found by where Ichabod “died”, which leads the readers to believe the idea that he could have been the horsemen. Both of the stories are supposed to be those of old wives tales. Within each of the stories is the mention of birds.
In RVW, the birds always recognize Rip that is until he “sleeps” for the twenty years. After RVW comes back from being gone so long, the birds all squawk at him. It’s as if they don’t recognize him at all. In LSH Ichabod is heavily referred to a bird many times. His last name is Crane, which is one type of bird. In his appearance he is related to a bird, similar to that of a stork. Ichabod is a schoolteacher and is very smart; the typical symbol for that of a teacher is an owl. Ichabod is even described as “crest fallen” when Van Tassle refuses his hand in marriage. Crest fallen could easily be referred to that of a rooster.
Cite this Legend of Sleepy Hollow vs. Pip Van Winkle
Legend of Sleepy Hollow vs. Pip Van Winkle. (2016, Sep 18). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/legend-of-sleepy-hollow-vs-pip-van-winkle/