What lesson does the Mariner learn from his experiences?

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sesmith5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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The mariner does learn the consequences of his unthinking action (killing the albatross) through the death of his fellow shipmates.  He is brought on the road to redemption by the "unthinking" blessing of the watersnakes, creatures he before had thought abhorent.  When he does this the albatross which the other sailors had hung about his neck falls from him.  The sailors arise, but the are not resurrected and themselves again.  They are possessed, in a sense, by angels.  These angels use the bodies of the sailors to get the mariner back home.  Though the mariner does learn to appreciate nature as a result of his experiences, the consequences of his unthinking action are not erased.  The sailors are still dead and go down with the ship when they reach harbor.  And the mariner still has penance he must do.  He is compelled to tell his story to people that he meets.  He does not tell everyone, however.  The compulsion to tell his story comes over him at unanticipated times.  The people to whom he tells the story must learn from it to appreciate all of God's creation, just as the mariner has learned.

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