Analysis Of Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein ' Essay

Analysis Of Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein ' Essay

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Mary Shelley 's Frankenstein, written in 1818, raises more questions that it could possibly address. It is the haunting tale of how a brilliant young scientist allowed his ambition to consume him, until the creature he created consumed his entire life. It is a story of ambition, murder and consequence. A story that this novel alludes to is Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, although not in a manner one might expect. This poem follows an ancient mariner on an expedition across the sea when he slaughters an innocent being, an albatross and brings on a curse that affects him and his crewmen tragically. The tale ends with the ancient mariner repeating his tale to a wedding guest, who emerges a “sadder and wiser man” (Coleridge). These two stories seem dissimilar, but they share a prevalent theme, as shown when Mary Shelley alludes to this poem in Frankenstein throughout the novel. The allusion to Rime of the Ancient Mariner helps develop the theme of imprisonment by guilt because of the similar journeys both Victor and the ancient mariner take.

The reference to an albatross in Rime of the Ancient Mariner develops the theme of imprisonment by guilt for Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein. In Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the narrator kills an albatross which later hangs around his neck as a visual reminder of the guilt he harbors. The albatross around his neck is an indication that he killed an innocent being, and for that he is guilty for the deaths of the other sailors through the curse he brought onto the ship. Imprisoned by the guilt he feels for so much pain and death, he is forced to tell the story for the rest of his life. Victor Frankenstein, on the other hand, didn’t directly kill any being, but he brou...


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...ssion consulted him. A man who had known his for mere weeks deceived him in a letter as “so noble a creature destroyed by misery” (Shelly, Page 13). The ancient mariner was a loyal crewman before he had been compelled to commit a senseless crime: the killing of an innocent albatross. His story was so captivating that a wedding guest on his way to a ceremony was mesmerized. Rime of an Ancient Mariner was used as an allusion because it forced the reader to think of connections between stories that seemed so vastly different. It made the reader think of the connections between taking a life and creating one that didn’t want to exist. The allusion both added to and twisted the novel, casting its characters in a new light. Mary Shelley 's allusion was both strategic and helpful: it furthered a reader’s understanding of a novel and built upon fundamental themes in the book.

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