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Samuel Taylor Coolridge’s "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

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Cause and effect. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. These are both principals which are universally accepted by the world in which we live. They have been decried in novels through out time. Samuel Taylor Coolridge's "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein deal with the themes of accountability, our actions and how we learn from them. Both Coolridge and Shelly attempt to explain the importance and the responsibility that occurs during the decision making process. Frankenstein and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" also deal with isolation and the lesson that each character learns from their ordeal. In his poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" Samuel Taylor Coolridge relates a tale of a man punished for killing a bird, an albatross. This single transgression unleashes a myriad of unfortunate occurrences including the stranding of the entire crew and the death of everyone except for the ancient Mariner. The Mariner is held acccountable for his actions. He slew the bird "That made the breeze to blow" (line 82), and was then responsible for the great evil that followed it. ...read more.


(pg. 47). He also mentioned, "My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement." (pg. 53). Victor was initially obsessed at the creation of the monster. Spending all day and night on his toils, he seemed to think of nothing else. He neglected his family and his friends. Yet when Victor finally creates his monster, he finds him thoroughly repulsive and abandons his not so small "child." This was the turning point, the choice that Victor made. Because Victor abandoned his monster he was responsible for all the deaths of his friends. Victor also learns from isolation. While isolation was the Mariners savior, it played a huge role in Victor's downfall. His isolation began during his creation of the monster. Victor pulled himself out of society, working day and night, hardly getting any sleep. He didn't want anybody to know what he was up to, in fear that word would get out. Victor continues to feel isolated throughout the rest of the novel. ...read more.


The plot's horror has aged each. Walton is "emaciated by fatigue and suffering" while the Mariner, "long, lank, and brown," captures his listener with a "skinny hand." Nature also plays a key part in both works. Recurring lightening helps hold the "image of Clerval forever before" Frankenstein. Similarly, bad weather also reminded his counterpart of the curse, for "instead of the cross, the Albatross about (the Mariner's) neck was hung." The constant barrage of torture keeps each from enjoying basic constituents of life, as Frankenstein's "paradisiacal dreams of love and joy" are taken and the Mariner finds "water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink." Also like Frankenstein, the Mariner too is haunted, watching wearily for a "frightful fiend (that) close behind him tread." During his journey, the mariner experiences "fear at my heart" much like Shelley's goal of "(curdling) the blood and (quickening) the beatings of the heart." At the conclusion, each listener has learned a valuable lesson, and "a sadder and wiser man he rose the morrow morn." ...read more.

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