The Ancient Mariner and Victor Frankenstein: Morality, Socialization, Action and Responsibility

The Ancient Mariner and Victor Frankenstein: Morality, Socialization, Action and Responsibility

Length: 1887 words (5.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Mary Shelley, in her novel Frankenstein mentions Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” in several instances, undoubtedly connecting her character, Victor Frankenstein, to the character of the Ancient Mariner. There are several critics, such as Michelle Levy and Sarah Goodwin, who support the idea that Frankenstein and the Mariner share a common background. Enough so, that Shelley’s mention of the Mariner in her novel is acceptable. This is true in some ways regarding their tragic backgrounds and how both characters end up confessing their actions to others. However, Frankenstein and the Mariner have many differences when it comes down to how they ended up in their tragic situations and even what means to an end they hope to achieve by sharing their tragic stories. The biggest differences being, knowledge of what could come from their actions, and how they accept the responsibility of the deaths they caused. Shelley was undoubtedly influenced by Coleridge’s poem and while her use of the poem in her novel is interesting, and the notion of comparing the action of confession and equal lack of social “belongingness” between Frankenstein and the Mariner are comparable, the two characters run the risk of being too different to compare when thought about in depth.
From several character analyses, a popular subject to write about during the time of “The Ancient Mariner” and Frankenstein was the effect of colonization and the search for knowledge as well as what effect new lands had on one’s psychological health and the effect of these ventures on social relationships with family and friends. Both Shelley and Coleridge were “vociferously opposed to unregulated and irresponsible venturing into the unknown in the real world. A...

... middle of paper ...

...els. London: Penguin, 1986. 259-497. Print.
Fletcher, Mary D. "Carson McCullers' "Ancient Mariner"" The South Central Bulletin 35.4 (1975): 123- 25. JSTOR. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. .
Goodwin, Sarah W. "Domesticity and Uncanny Kitsch in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and Frankenstein." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 10.1 (1991): 93- 108.JSTOR. Web. 8 Apr. 2014. <>.
Guyer, Sara. "Testimony and Trope in Frankenstein." Studies in Romanticism 45.1 (2006): 77- 115. JSTOR. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. .
Levy, Michelle. "Discovery and the domestic affections in Coleridge and Shelley." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 44.4 (2004): 693+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 8 Apr. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Setting and Descriptions of Chapter 5 of Frankenstein Essay

- In chapter 5 of Frankenstein, Victor has just finished his creation, with seemingly great regret. To begin with, the use of pathetic fallacy allows the readers to gain definite expectations. “It was on the dreary night of November...” The fact that this particular scene is set during November, a wintery, cold, dark season, makes it obvious that Mary Shelley is trying to create a chilling atmosphere in order to get the readers to know that an abominable event is bound to happen, creating a Gothic foundation for the rest of the chapter....   [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelly, summary, ]

Powerful Essays
859 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Analysis of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

- Analysis of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Analyzing a book can be a killer. Especially when it contains tons of subtle little messages and hints that are not picked up unless one really dissects the material. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a prime example. It is analyzed by scholars all the time because of the subtle messages it sends through its themes, one of which needs to be discussed that is called Romanticism. Romanticism dealt with simplifying things as a break from the previous age which deal with grandeur....   [tags: Mary Shelley Frankenstein]

Powerful Essays
1717 words (4.9 pages)

The Everlasting Works Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge And The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

- While reading the everlasting works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a well-establish author of the Romantic Period; and Mary Shelley, another well-established author of the Romantic period who was heavily influenced by the works of Coleridge, I began to see constant similarities amongst their themes. I began my work by analyzing the theme of solitude and companionship that take place in the works of Frankenstein, written by Shelley, and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, written by Coleridge. I continued analyzing the solitude and companionship theme until I noticed the much larger umbrella in which these sub-themes fell under....   [tags: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Romanticism]

Powerful Essays
1271 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Atmosphere in Shelley's Frankenstein

- Throughout the novel, Shelley uses a very gothic and gloomy atmosphere partly because she is reflecting her personal life into the novel and also to emphasis on the horror that come when men try to play God. “As I still pursued my journey to the northward, the snows thickened and the cold increased in a degree almost too severe to support.” (203, Shelley) In the quote, Victor tracks down the monster in the Arctic, Shelley uses such desolate locations to show the isolation of both Victor and the monster....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1564 words (4.5 pages)

Victor Frankenstein 's Mistakes : Paid Essay

- Victor Frankenstein’s Mistakes: Paid in Blood What people do privately, when they are acting alone, can and will effect others’ lives in ways they do not expect. The effects may very well not be their intended purpose, but innocents always suffer from others’ actions. This is most clearly defined in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Victor, by keeping his sins to himself, destroyed the lives of those he loved; by keeping quiet time and time again, he sealed the fate of his and their horrible endings....   [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Murder]

Powerful Essays
1350 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about Social and Individual Responsibility in Frankenstein

- Social and Individual Responsibility in Frankenstein   Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein in a time of wonder. A main wonder was whether you could put life back into the dead. Close to the topic of bringing life back into the dead was whether you could create your own being, like selective breeding but a bit more powerful. Close to where Mary lived there was a man named Vultair was experimenting putting electricity through Frogs to see if they could come back to life. With that going on close to her as well as the fear of a revolution and the pressure on her to think of a ghost story it is not surprising she thought of a horror story that would still be popular in the 21st Century....   [tags: Social Responsibility in Frankenstein]

Free Essays
1089 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Victor Frankenstein as the Monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

- What is a monster. The word "monster" causes one to imagine a hideous, deformed or nonhuman creature that appears in horror movies and novels and terrifies everyone in its path. More importantly, however, the creature described generally behaves monstrously, doing things which harm society and acting with little consideration for the feelings and safety of others. "Thus, it is the behavior which primarily defines a monster, rather than its physical appearance"(Levine 13). Alhough Victor Frankenstein calls his creature a monster, and considers it disgusting and abhorrent, it is in fact Frankenstein who behaves monstrously....   [tags: Frankenstein Essays]

Powerful Essays
616 words (1.8 pages)

Essay about Accountability of Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

- The Accountability of Victor Frankenstein       Although humans have the tendency to set idealistic goals to better future generations, often the results can prove disastrous, even deadly. The tale of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, focuses on the outcome of one man's idealistic motives and desires of dabbling with nature, which result in the creation of horrific creature. Victor Frankenstein was not doomed to failure from his initial desire to overstep the natural bounds of human knowledge. Rather, it was his poor parenting of his progeny that lead to his creation's thirst for the vindication of his unjust life....   [tags: Frankenstein essays]

Free Essays
1514 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Fantastic Victor Frankenstein of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

- Victor Frankenstein - Man of the Century      Human life has been lengthened because of the successes of scientists in the region of medical science.  Extending human life was also the goal of a 19th Century scientist named Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein written in 1817.  Following Frankenstein, scientists at MIT are researching ways to advance human life.  Frankenstein's main pursuit for progressing human life is to prevent future deaths of countless innocent people and to diminish the concept of death itself, and the following quote justifies that belief.  "I thought, that I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time ....   [tags: Frankenstein essays]

Free Essays
1157 words (3.3 pages)

Social Responsibility in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

- Frankenstein: Social Judgement Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a complex novel that was written during the age of Romanticism. It contains many typical themes of a common Romantic novel, such as dark laboratories, the moon and a monster; however, Frankenstein is anything but a common novel. Many lessons are embedded into this novel, including how society acts towards anything different.  The monster fell victim to the system commonly used by society to characterize a person by only his or her outer appearance....   [tags: Social Responsibility in Frankenstein]

Free Essays
786 words (2.2 pages)