Rime of the Ancient Mariner Term Paper

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Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Specifically, it will answer the questions: Assuming that the psychological-spiritual level of the crew is at least to this point grounded in actual literal experience with nature, given their "ice-olation," why would the crew intuitively compare the bird perching on their ship to a "Christian soul?" Why would someone want to kill it? Why does the weather change after they kill the bird? Hypothesis: As the crew sails the seas, their futures are uncertain, and they must depend on the whims of nature for their survival. They must understand nature and be kind to it - when they are not, they will suffer the consequences. As Christians, they view natural wonders as signs from heaven, and the Albatross is like a messenger from God, an angel sent to guide them with a "Christian soul." Killing the Albatross is the ultimate act of disbelief and disavowal of God and God's natural world, and so, the mariners must pay the price.

The crew understands their precarious balance with nature; in fact, they even compare the overtaking storm to a bird's wings.
"And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he / Was tyrannous and strong: / He struck with his o'ertaking wings," (Coleridge). The crew truly becomes "ice-olated" as the wind blows them South, "The ice was here, the ice was there, / The ice was all around: / It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, / Like noises in a swound!" (Coleridge). Truly, their lives are dependent on nature, and they are not looking particularly stable right now, and so, it is no wonder they see the Albatross as a "Christian sole," winging it's way from heaven through the mist and fog to save their ship from destruction. The bird is a good and kind omen, and there are some who cannot live with anything good or kind, and so they must remove these reminders of happiness from their lives. The Ancient Mariner killed the Albatross because it was an omen, and the rest of the crew understands immediately their good fortune that followed them with the bird's appearance will end eventually, and indeed, it does. The crew pays for the Mariner's transgression, but the Mariner.....

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