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(A Comparison Of Symbolisms In The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner And The Raven)

1104 words - 5 pages

Symbolism is a powerful tool in literature. Throughout history, it has been used as a device to convey a deeper meaning. Writer Rukhsana Khan says this about it. “Symbolism deals with the background of a story. It’s the wallpaper on the walls where the characters are having their scene. It’s not something you immediately notice (or at least it shouldn’t be or it’s too obvious) but it’s definitely there making its presence felt.” The writer could simply write the point they were trying to make, but something about symbols just makes the intended message have more of an impact on the reader. Both Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Edgar Allen Poe knew this very well. And, they used symbolism very ...view middle of the document...

Before the raven showed up in the narrator’s room, he was perfectly content, by his self. Then, the bird changed the mood to one of foreboding and fear. This is powerful stuff.
Also, The Rime of of the Ancient Mariner and The Raven can be compared for the meaning of their symbolism. Really, what do these birds have to do with anything? Well, as far as these poems go, they have to do with everything. The albatross is a symbol of all nature in his respective poem. And when the Mariner disrespects him, he is disrespecting all of God’s creations. At its simplest form, this poem means to say that you should respect all of God’s creations. The albatross isn’t a crazy complex way to convey this message, but it is a very good one. Also, what does the raven in Poe’s poem mean? Is he just some wanna-be-parrot that showed up at some paranoid guy’s house to scare him? Or is he something more sinister. Poe would like to have you believe the latter. As Dana Gioia writes, “In contrast to the heavenly and angelic Lenore, the Raven is repeatedly and explicitly characterized in demonic terms.” This quote should make this painfully clear to you. “Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore - What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'(Lines 70-72)” Clearly, the raven had some pretty demonic overtones.
Lastly, a comparison can be made between The Rime of of the Ancient Mariner and The Raven for the result of their symbolisms. In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, what did the death of the albatross cause? It was worth the Mariner regretting his decision, as this quote shows. “And I had done a hellish thing, And it would work ‘em woe: For all averred, I had killed the bird That made the breeze to blow! (Part 2 Lines 91-94)” So, the albatross being killed resulted in everyone but the Mariner dying, and started a chain of ghoulish events. As Scott Foll writes, this is because the Mariner sinned against God, a major theme of the story....

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