Comparison and Contrast of Washington Irving and Edgar Allan

Topics: Romanticism, Edgar Allan Poe, Short story Pages: 2 (803 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The Romantic era writers, Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe, had many similarities but even more differences, in both writing theme and style. This is very evident in their works, “Rip Van Winkle”, by Irving, and “The Fall of the House of Usher”, by Poe. Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe were both writers who exemplified the writing style of the Romantic era. Both writers used their great talents to take the reader into the story. For example, Irving, in “Rip Van Winkle”, starts the story by saying, “Whoever has made a courage up the Hudson must remember the Kaatskill Mountains.” He also involves the reader in the story by taking us into the everyday lives of the Van Winkles and goes into some detail describing Rip’s “business”. Poe also demonstrates his ability to pull the reader into the story. In “The Fall of the House Usher” he uses extensive descriptions of the settings to give the reader the feeling of being there while the story is developing around them. The writers are also similar in the use of tone in their works. Irving’s use of tone in his stories is typically lighthearted, yet dramatic. This is demonstrated in “Rip Van Winkle” when Rip comes back from the “Kaatskills” and is talking to all the people in the town. There, he finds his son and daughter and asks, “Where’s your mother?” By asking this question, Irving implies both curiosity and even fear if Dame Van Winkle is still around. This humorous approach to the subject of Rip’s wife, makes light of the fact that Rip can’t stand her. Poe uses tone similarly to give his story a ‘feel’. The especially dramatic and morbid tones of “The Fall of the House of Usher” are demonstrated after lady Madeline has died. Roderick, who believes he buried her alive, is going insane because when he imagines that she appears in front of...
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