Purpose: To analyze Sleepy Hollow and convince my audience that Tim Burton uses comedy, romance, music, and the supernatural to preserve the Gothic tradition.
Audience: This particular essay will be most appealing to those ages 18-40, male or female, and middle or upper class. Race and religion are irrelevant. In order to understand the essay, the reader should have at least a high school education and live in the United States. This essay also pertains to those who have read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and have seen the film Sleepy Hollow.
Thesis: Tim Burton uses comedy, romance, music, and the supernatural to preserve the Gothic tradition.
A Gothic Sleepy Hollow.
“If any one director has skillfully brought a “”Gothic”” sense to film, that one director would be Tim Burton. And, of any film one could imagine being made fits so perfectly both the Gothic ideal, and Burton’s unique sensibilities. it is Sleepy Hollow.” (Dean). From Washington Irving’s book “The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow,” Tim Burton was able to, according to critic Greg Dean, “take the concept and stretching, pulling, and expanding it into a full story.” In the film Sleepy Hollow, many Gothic characteristics are used to make the film more interesting and have suspense. Commentator Nelson Reinsch points out, “Burton’s film moves constantly from humor, to romance, to gore and back again.” Tim Burton uses comedy, romance, music, and the supernatural to preserve the Gothic tradition.
To begin with, Burton uses comedy to preserve the Gothic tradition. Comedy is used throughout the film in order to take the focus off of evil and darkness for a split second and bring the audience back to reality. According to commentator Nelson Reinsch, “But the film’s most distinctive feature is Burton’s own mixture of menace and whimsy [comedy].” One of the most comical scenes in the film is when Ichabod and Magistrate Phillipse are discussing the possibility of a fifth victim, and the headless horseman comes out of the swirling fog to decapitate Magistrate Phillipse head.