“All These, however, were mere terrors of the night, phantoms of the mind that walk in darkness; and though he had seen many specters in his time, and been more than once beset by satan in diverse shapes, in his lonely perambulations, yet daylight put an end to all these evil; and he would have passed a pleasant life of it, and despite of the devil and all his works, if his path had not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to a mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was – a woman.”
The second I read this sentence (or paragraph, it is kinda long…) I knew it would be the one I would like to speak about. Sure, parts of the story with wild Headless Horseman chases would be more exciting, but this one has more… meaning. Think about it. This sentence/paragraph/run-on sums up what Irving wants the true antagonist of his story to be. He wants people not to remember Headless Horsemen, Sleepy Hollows, singing, psaltery, school, or even the food. It seems (in my opinion anyway) that this whole stories purpose, it’s meaning, it’s existence, is to teach people, about love. Love for a woman, who “causes more perplexity to a mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together.” The story is not to shun true/not so true love away, but to show that if you want a girl for her wealth, her social status, her riches, and (as the story goes on and on and on about) Luxury, than consider yourself done for. But, it gets better with this Brom Bones jerk. He is so perfect and so handsome and so daring bla bla bla. Arrogance at its peak. This character looks like he was just put there to make Ichabod’s failure more humiliating. It is similar to the way Drummle marries Estella in spite of Pip in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Drummle marrying Estella made Pip’s failure more dramatic, as did Bones marrying Katerina.
As the mom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding says: The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. She could turn the head anyway she wants.
I have never been good at concluding anything, but it seems like that was all I have to say, soo…