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In "Frankenstein," why is the poem "The Ancient Mariner" important...

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jadebrifoglio | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 30, 2008 at 2:43 AM via web

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In "Frankenstein," why is the poem "The Ancient Mariner" important to Walton? How is the stranger similar to the ancient mariner?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 30, 2008 at 3:03 AM (Answer #1)

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The Ancient Mariner's trip was to the polar regions, just as Walton's trip. In fact, it was the"polar gods" who punished the mariner for killing the albatross. The reason they were so angry is that the mariner showed a total disrespect for nature. In his own way, Walton shows disrespect for nature by insisting his ship stay stuck in the polar ice because he is so obsessed with getting to the North Pole. When he finds Victor, he discovers that Victor is determined to tell his tale just as the mariner is forced to tell his tale over and over. Victor, however, knows he is dying, so he desperately wants Walton to remember his story and warn others of its consequences. This parallels the warnings of the mariner to the wedding guest. Fortunately, Walton does learn from Victor and the monster and eventually decides to row out of the ice.


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