Essay Instructions: Here are the instructions given to us for this assignment:
Both Samuel Taylor Coleridge''s "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and Mary Shelley''s Frankenstein are texts dominated by gothic or supernatural elements, and yet both are deeply concerned with an "everyday" topic: the bonds of love and community which join or link living things. Write a coherent 5-7 page essay in which you discuss both texts in terms of natural/supernatural love. Do not assume that "love" is a term given to immediate understanding. What is love for these writers and how does it operate in these two texts?
Remember to develop a strong thesis-assertion and to demonstrate the thesis throughout the essay; remember to support your ideas and assertions with details from the text or texts at hand; remember to write in active voice; and, as always, remember to read closely. You should refer back to the texts often as you write.
***Note from the student:
Since this is a close reading exercise, we must refer only to the two texts mentioned--no outside sources are to be used. We are using the following version of Frankenstein:
Frankenstein: the original 1818 text
Broadview Literary Texts, second edition, published 1999
Editors: D.L. MacDonald and Kathleen Scherf
In addition to the novel itself, we also read Shelley''s 1831 introduction on pages 353-359 of this text (Appendix G). We are allowed to quote from this introduction in our papers. Our particular focus was on the passage on page 357 where Shelley describes the waking dream that gave her the idea for the novel. The passage starts "Night waned upon this talk..." and it ends at "I opened mine in terror." Also, we discussed Shelley''s labeling of the novel as her "hideous progeny" (page 358).
We read Coleridge''s poem from The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 7th edition, volume 2--however, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is readily available from many other sources, so use whatever source is available to you.
Our instructor emphasized in class not to simplistically sum up "The Rime" by the "moral" offered in the last three stanzas: to love "All things both great and small" because God "made and loveth all."
I am willing to have an email discussion if there are any questions about the paper.
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