There are a lot of differences between the movie Sleepy Hollow directed by Tim Burton in 1999 and the book written by Washington Irving and published in 1820. Among the differences, three are the most vivid. The first difference is a description and positioning of the protagonist Ichabod Crane. In Irving’s short story, Ichabod was “tarried in Sleepy Hollow for the purpose of instructing the children of the vicinity” (Irving 330). In Burton’s movie Ichabod has turned into a skillful detective whose “purpose is to determine whether or not a person was damned before being dumped into the river” (Burton 5:15).

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The second difference is the depiction of the key love triangle that has appeared between Ichabod, Katrina, and Brom Bones. In the original story, Brom Bones is illustrated as a strong and confident man who is different from Ichabod considered a nerd. In the movie, Burton makes Ichabod and Brom confront during the film, and that has changed the main Irving’s idea about American populism and the role of intellectual elites in the US society.

The third difference is a transformation of the role of tale and skillful ability of Ichabod to oppose the Horseman. In the story, Ichabod is depicted as a researcher, who can see the link between the mystic tales and science. This overseeing and individual charisma help him defeat the Horseman. In the movie, Burton makes the power of tales less influential. Ichabod does not possess the same charisma, because his skills are more likely to be the help of his band than his individual mastery. This difference has transformed the plot greatly, because it shows that while Irving strives to show a solid background in mystic tales, Burton makes the emphasis on horror and the elements of psychological asserts. These three differences illustrate how the plot and the main idea of the story can be redone and rethought by the movie.

  • Burton, Tim. “Sleepy Hollow.” YouTube. Web.
  • Irving, Washington. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories. London: Race Point Publishing, 2017. Print.