The Ideal in Literature
This paper discusses the ideal man and women as presented in Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark".
# 25994 | 1,875 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 |
Published on May 04, 2003 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , Gender and Sexuality (Theories of Gender)
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This paper states that, when looking at gender definitions, the context dictates the ideal characteristics for men and women. The author relates that Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" shows the victory of the physical over the intellectual man, while applauding the ideal woman who craves such physicality. The author believes that Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" pits two opposite types of men against each other representing the ideal man as a blend of the two, while representing the ideal woman as a complicated blend between intellect and beauty.
From the Paper:"Each man is diametrically opposed to another male influence in his respective stories, and these opposition figures represent the physical portion of the male that is lacking from both Ichabod and Aylmer. Ichabod is opposed by both the father of his love interest, and by a competitor for Katrina's love, Brom van Brunt. Brom is the ideal of masculine strength and carries with him a certain wild frontier quality. He is a braggart, a sportsman, and a swaggering daredevil wrapped into one. Katrina's father represents the town of Sleepy Hollow; he does not look beyond his own borders, cares little if any for education, and wants to keep his town continuing the way it is, free of outsiders and outside ideas. Aylmer is opposed by his scientific assistant, Aminadab."
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