Gothic Elements In The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, And Somnambulism

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In the eighteen and nineteen hundreds, American gothic themes were very common throughout stories and poems. These gothic elements, whether in the form of settings, actions, or characters, influenced American literature and are still present in many stories today. Some of these gothic elements include those of terror, the supernatural, and the dark outdoors. Both the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and Somnambulism by Charles Brockden Brown contain gothic elements in the form of terror, horror, fear of unknown, madness, and setting of the story. In the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the school teacher, Ichabod Crane, falls in love with a new girl who comes into the town of Sleepy Hollow. Her name is Katrina Van Tassel, and another man …show more content…
Fear of unknown is used in several forms in the two stories. During the scene of Brom telling the story of the headless horseman, the theme fear of unknown is used. Ichabod fears for his life on his way back, but he does not know when he headless horseman will appear or if he will. Instead of fearing for his life, Althorpe is causing the fear of unknown upon Constantia. When Constantia finds Althorpe in the wilderness, she is not sure what he is doing out here or what is going to happen next. Constantia feared what was going to happen next, but she was eventually killed by …show more content…
What if both Ichabod and Althorpe have just gone mad and none of the things actually happen? After reading these two stories, one could say that both of the characters possibly have come to that conclusion. On Ichabod trip home, he seems to mistaken many things for the headless horseman and cannot stop looking at the darkness thinking it is him. All this talk about ghost stories caused Ichabod to go mad and think the myth of the story was true.
Not only did Ichabod go crazy, but Althorpe as well. Althorpe wanted Constantia to fall in love with him, but her father got a message saying they must return home immediately. Althorpe raging emotions got to him and wanted to do something to stop her from leaving him. As said before, his emotions caused him to sleepwalk to the wilderness and kill Constantia. His emotions and the thought of Constantia leaving him caused Althorpe to go mad.
Some of the most common places of American gothic stories to take place are graveyards, haunted houses, and even churches. Sleepy Hollow and Somnambulism both take place in a little town in the late eighteen to nineteen century. Even though they are in different locations, they both fit the theme of a gothic story. Later on in both of the stories, they both end up in the forest. In the end of both stories, one person is killed or gone missing in

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