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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow vs An Indian’s Looking Glass for the White Man Essay


The short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, written by Washington Irving and published first in 1820, is set in the Dutch settlement Greenburgh or Tarry Town as it was known. Specifically, the whole story takes place in a secluded glen, the Sleepy Hollow in the late 1700s. Ichabod Crane and Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt are the two main protagonists battling out for the hand of the 18-year-old daughter of Baltus Van Tassel in the marriage.

The young lady in the endless dog fight between these two men is Katrina Van Tassel who is the only child of the wealthy farmer. The two gentlemen are of different characters as Ichabod, a schoolmaster, is a very superstitious man. On the other hand, Abraham is the town rowdy and is a very cunning man.

Ichabod while from a party from Van Tassel’s home, he is chased by what he believes is a headless ghost. After this event which occurred during one night in autumn, Ichabod disappears without a trace.

However, the manner in which Brom knows the story about Ichabod’s mysterious disappearance, it is clear that he was indeed the headless ghost. He takes an advantage of the fact that his main competitor, Ichabod, is a very superstitious man and scares him away leaving him with the bride, Katrina Van Tassel.

In his book, An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White, William Apes tries to point out various aspects of racism in the society in which he lived in. The topic is actual for all times including the present days. Racism has been one of the main problems facing the modern society nowadays.

In this book, Apes points out that it is hypocritical to hold on to the existence of races at the same time call yourself a Christian for racism is not even recognized in the Bible. This book is set in the 1800s when the white people controlled the Native Americans.

However, Apes, writing to the mostly predominately white Christian audience, insists that they have no right to rule the colored people and even Jesus and His disciples were colored. In his essay, Apes asserts that the whites have committed heinous crimes in the name of Christianity murdering the colored Native Americans to grab their lands.

William Apes believes that it is quite dehumanizing for the whites to deny the colored people their basic human rights such as land ownership. It is not right for any race to have control over the other races as it is a free world and people are supposed to have equal rights.

He points out that it is not right for the whites to treat the Native Americans as lesser beings. However, Apes tries to bridge this gap that has emerged due to the skin color by calling everyone to a common understanding that all are the same; white or colored. He believes that all races should love each other for all are Christians.

Of the two books, William Apes’, “An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White,” stands out as the better of the two. The plot structure of this book is very elaborate and to the point. The plot structure clearly brings out the writer’s main themes, racism and Christianity.

In his plot, Apes clearly points out the crimes committed by the white people against the Native Americans. The whites murdered the Native Americans and grabbed their land in the name of Christianity. Interestingly, the writing was directed to the mainly white dominated congregation.

In his plot, Apes calls on all Christians; white or colored to come together and live harmoniously for they are one and that racism is not recognized in the Bible. Moreover he points out in his book’s plot structure that directly address us in the world today, that no race has the right to dominate over the other.

Even though written long time ago the plot structure of this book still resonates with us today. The plot of this book is simple and direct to the point. It has the plot of a preaching by a pastor directed to a divided congregation.

In the book, William Apes has set the story in the 1800s a period marred by mass murder of Native Americans by the whites in the name of Christianity and in the quest of land. During this period, the whites considered the Native Americans as lesser human beings who had no right to own land in America. William Apes’ point of view is that all are equal bound together by Christianity.

During such a time when the Native Americans were dehumanized by the whites, he believed that no race should control the other in the name of Christianity or skin color. He believed that racism did not exist in God’s Kingdom. The characters in this book are whites and Native Americans.

The whites are the oppressors while the Native Americans are the oppressed. The whites are the murderers who try to justify their actions by hiding behind the veil of Christianity. On the other hand, the Native Americans are the victims of this dehumanizing act who are considered to be lesser beings.

The sufferings of the Native Americans and the control of their social and political lives by the whites symbolizes the sufferings of not only the colored groups in America but also the world over. It shows how many people the world over have suffered in the hands of their leaders and other tribes. The excuse of whites for committing such atrocities resonates with many given by oppressors today.

The book has strong themes which we can identify with in the world today. The theme of Christianity stands out throughout the book. Apes calls on everybody to stop hypocrisy and embrace one another. He even uses Biblical verses in his book.

Moreover, the theme of racism dominates in the book as William Apes points out various heinous crimes and dehumanizing crimes committed by the whites against the Native Americans. The whites grab the land of the Native Americans’ land and murder them. Moreover, the whites treat the colored people as lesser beings hence they have no right to own land.

Even though he does not recognize races, he also biased in his view but one thing that stands out is that Apes tries to bridge the gap between the races. He calls on all the races to treat each as equals for all are Christians bound together by God’s love. These attributes of the book makes the book the better of the two as it even resonates with our tribulations today.

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IvyPanda. (2019, March 28). The Legend of Sleepy Hollow vs An Indian's Looking Glass for the White Man. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow-vs-an-indians-looking-glass-for-the-white-man/

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"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow vs An Indian's Looking Glass for the White Man." IvyPanda, 28 Mar. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow-vs-an-indians-looking-glass-for-the-white-man/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow vs An Indian's Looking Glass for the White Man." March 28, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow-vs-an-indians-looking-glass-for-the-white-man/.


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IvyPanda. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow vs An Indian's Looking Glass for the White Man." March 28, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow-vs-an-indians-looking-glass-for-the-white-man/.

References

IvyPanda. 2019. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow vs An Indian's Looking Glass for the White Man." March 28, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow-vs-an-indians-looking-glass-for-the-white-man/.

References

IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow vs An Indian's Looking Glass for the White Man'. 28 March.

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