Washington Irving weaves tons and tons of cobwebs before reaching the main plot of the story. I would like to analyze history from the point of view of romance, gothic fiction, Marxism, psychoanalysis, and feminism.

As a romance, the story revolves around protagonist Ichabold Crane’s efforts to woo Katrina. Ichabold Crane comes to town to be a school teacher. Katrina, a plump girl, has many admirers and the story sets up the conflict between Brom Bones, the rustic boy, and Ichabold, who is also her admirer. The romance follows a typical medieval pattern of courtly love. Men go out of their way to make romantic advances to Katrina. Katrina finds it tempting to be courted by many men. This type of romantic paradigm is identified by the philosopher Kristeva as belonging to melancholy, which is a longing for something that cannot be obtained. In this romance game, the women are silenced and the romance acts as a ritual chase game for the men. Are women objects to be worshiped by the court and obtained through servile gestures? Is the ideal of romance shifting to women taking a more active role? Are women, poetic hearts, ornaments? Are gender roles changing and becoming more feminine in today’s romance? The questions are easy to ask, but the answers are hard to guess.

The story is modeled after Gothic fiction and the town is haunted by many ghost tales. The most prominent of these is the legend of the headless horseman who visits the village at night and returns to his grave before dawn. The legend of the headless horseman becomes the crux of the story’s plot, as we later understand at the end that after a party at Katrina’s house, while Ichabold Crane is riding a horse, he is accosted by a headless horseman. and lose control. of his horse and when his head is thrown, it becomes a complete mess. We can only imagine that the author has woven the plot as a ploy by Ichabold’s rival, Brom Bones, who is Katrina’s admirer to expel him from the village. The author has created a plot that is weak, but leaves a lot of room for the fictitious imagination. The postmodern genre of fiction has delivered the coup de grace to the Gothic. New age readers may read the plot as a fictional construction and the gothic plots of the postmodern era are boring. Reality is not the fantastic but the aesthetic in terms of modern fiction. Ridicule, irony, and self-reflection are the devices through which the postmodern writer explores his work.

From a Marxist perspective, history portrays the life of the bourgeois elite, who are rich but rustic and poorly educated. It is an irony that they do not give much importance to the education of their children. This is revealed in the school’s shoddy construction, which is actually a shack. Blackness is also portrayed in history with the kind of disdain consciousness. The story shows the evolution of rural America and conforms to the paradigm of class consciousness that is snobbish, elite, and yet confused in the waters of lack of sophistication. The cultural beliefs and values ​​of rural America are primitive and deeply tainted with supernaturalism and myths. The protagonist of the play, Ichabold is the only character who resembles the proletariat. But again, the author clouds him with superstitious beliefs. Women are limited to the role of pleasant housewives or as objects for men to put their charms on.

Psychoanalytically speaking, the story revolves around haunting specters, Christianity, and the paganism of witchcraft. The townspeople are plagued with the panoply of confusing jargon of having firm Christian beliefs and yet being ardent admirers of witchcraft. This salmagundi is an amalgamated cauldron of irrationality. One finds these myths difficult to digest in the postmodern era. It also reveals the author’s confusion of an emotional dialectic between harsh Christian beliefs and paganism. At an archetypal level, the dualism of the cosmos with good and evil emerges as silhouettes that wag the mind in perforations of substance. The devil and God become allegorical attributes of a mind puzzled with arcane riddles. The author’s unconscious manifests itself with a consciousness that mixes myth and superstition with reality.

Looking at history from a feminist point of view we can say that Men are phallic parents in search of the oedipal feminine. Women are submissive and affectionate housewives or flirtatious maidens ready to be seduced by men. Yes, Katrina is an authoritarian feminist when it comes to romance. Enjoy charming all men to seduce her. But Katrina’s role is limited to a gender stereotype and lacks autonomy and democracy. The phallic language of the text in stereotyping the masculine and feminine must be strongly questioned through the lens of feminist deconstruction. Gender and language vibrate with a magnet that is a utopian phallic father.

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