Washington Irving and Edgar Allen Poe's writing contain many similarities, both writers being from the Romantic Era. There are also a few differences in their styles that distinguish then from each other. Their extremely different backgrounds and life styles growing up is a reason for their different outlooks on life, therefore leading to different ways of expressing their selves.
Washington Irving was born into a very wealthy family. Born in New York City, he began studying law, but feeling that it was not the right path for him, dropped it and started to travel Europe. He lived there for almost twenty years and studied European folklore and culture. As a young man, Irving spent a lot of time vacationing in Westchester and northern New York, where a few of his writings take place.
Having such an easy lifestyle and being of wealthy background, Irving had no reason to obsess over the bad aspects of life.
This led to his upbeat and some times humorous literature. Irving's literature is easy reading and never contains anything to serious or depressing. For instance, in his short story The Legend of Sleepy Hallow, He tells of a man who is a schoolteacher, and in so many words tells that he often gets back at the children that bullied him while he was attending grade school. As an adult, the main character, Ichabod Crane is still being tormented by the kind of person he was bothered by when he was young. During the course of the story he is taunted and teased by the his bully, Brom Bones, who eventually scares him so much nobody hears from Ichabod again. Normally, this would seem tragic, but the way that Irving tells the story, it seems funny.
Poe had an extremely different childhood and situation...