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How to understand the weird logic?

 
 
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 12:01 am


How to make your house secure? How about this: Secured by a withe twisted in the handle of the door, and stakes set against the window shutters; so that, though a thief might get in with perfect ease, he would find some embarrassment in getting out?

So that? It seems to me that a thief can easily get in and easily get out. How can the thief will find some some embarrassment in getting out? Is it because he will get out empty-handed? Or bewitched by some spell?

Context:

His school-house was a low building of one large room, rudely constructed of logs; the windows partly glazed, and partly patched with leaves of old copy-books. It was most ingeniously secured at vacant hours, by a withe twisted in the handle of the door, and stakes set against the window shutters; so that, though a thief might get in with perfect ease, he would find some embarrassment in getting out; an idea most probably borrowed by the architect, Yost Van Houten, from the mystery of an eel-pot. The school-house stood in a rather lonely but pleasant situation, just at the foot of a woody hill, with a brook running close by, and a formidable birch tree growing at one end of it. From hence the low murmur of his pupils' voices, conning over their lessons, might be heard of a drowsy summer's day, like the hum of a beehive; interrupted now and then by the authoritative voice of the master, in the tone of menace or command; or, peradventure, by the appalling sound of the birch, as he urged some tardy loiterer along the flowery path of knowledge. Truth to say, he was a conscientious man, and ever bore in mind the golden maxim, "Spare the rod and spoil the child."- Ichabod Crane's scholars certainly were not spoiled.

More:
http://www.castleofspirits.com/sleepyh1.html
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 3,829 • Replies: 36
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fresco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 12:11 am
@oristarA,
My understanding is that this description does not require "logical analysis" but is a conceptual contribution to the metaphorical picture/atmosphere of "school=prison", as further expanded by the extra description.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 02:53 am
It's sarcasm. Obviously, the schoolhouse is not secured. But, then, there's nothing to attract a thief. Because the door is secured from the outside, and because the shutters (wooden boards nailed together intended to go on the outside of the windows) are propped in place, he's saying that a thief who got in would not so easily get out again. Ignore that drivel by Fresco about school as prison, it's just Irving's continuing construction of Crane as a ridiculous figure, here extended to the sad, shabby schoolhouse in which he provides his tuition to the local children.
0 Replies
 
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 03:24 am
Both are reasonable.
Thank you both.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 03:29 am
No, Fresco's response is not reasonable. It formed no part of what Irving was writing.
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 06:25 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

No, Fresco's response is not reasonable. It formed no part of what Irving was writing.


Anyways, his opinion is funny and amusing. It encourages imagination. And don't forget, Sleepy Hollow is a ridiculous story itself. Very Happy
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 06:46 am
@oristarA,
Thank you oristarA. Wink
As stated in my response....that is "my understanding."
Only a fool would think there is a definitive interpretation of a work of fiction.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 08:05 am
@fresco,
Only a complete fool would believe that an American writing light fiction at the beginning of the 19th century was trying to construct a figurative image of the Achetypal School as Metaphorical Prison.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 08:06 am
@oristarA,
oristarA wrote:
It encourages imagination. And don't forget, Sleepy Hollow is a ridiculous story itself.


Which is why it is ludicrous to attempt to attach a convoluted "philosophical" construct to what was simply an overwrought attempt to depict bucolic upstate New York while making Ichabod Crane look ridiculous.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 08:37 am
@Setanta,
Yeah, and Washington Irving or Irving Washington is just the pen name of Capt. John Yossarian. (Note to Oristar, not really)
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 08:54 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Only a complete fool would believe that an American writing light fiction at the beginning of the 19th century was trying to construct a figurative image of the Achetypal School as Metaphorical Prison.


LOL !....are you really that desperate to be taken seriously ?

What do you want ?...biographical evidence of Irving's tendency to "escape" from school work to the theatre ?....go look....it's there ! Ah but then the pompous historian will no doubt "pull rank" on the upstart "layman" for having the audacity to play in His playground !

It's a pity you have to be such a pain when you actually talk sense on occasion.

DO US ALL A FAVOUR...WORK ON IT !




Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 08:56 am
@fresco,
It would be a pain that you attempt to shoehorn you idiotic philosophical fantasies into every thread you blight here--except that you're not that significant. What makes you feel the need to shout?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 09:06 am
@Setanta,
...a blighter from Blighty eh?.....definite philosophical nuances there !
0 Replies
 
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 09:10 am
Look out the window, guys, is the sun still hanging high in your city in America?

Cheers.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 09:25 am
@oristarA,
Going down a bit in Manchester, UK ! Smile



izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 10:34 am
@fresco,
City or United?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 10:40 am
@izzythepush,
If pushed ( Smile ) I'd say United, but I mourn the bygone days of "local" (or even British) players.
I haven't physically attended a match for many years.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 10:42 am
@oristarA,
Since none of us are in the United States, you'd have to ask someone else.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 10:48 am
@Setanta,
He said "America", O punctilious one !
Canada is in there somewhere I believe.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2011 11:03 am
And almost everyone in the world who says "America" means the United States, Oh Anal Retentive one. I find that hilarious, given how very often Americans are lectured on the impropriety of calling themselves Americans. I can assure you that you'd be met with deep resentment in Canada if you referred to them as Americans.
 

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