Audience In Frankenstein Essay Research Paper The

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Audience In Frankenstein Essay, Research Paper The audience of any story generally functions as the recipient of the narration of the story-teller or of a character in the story. This relationship consists of two roles: the passive role of the audience as the recipient of knowledge or ideas and the active role of the teller as the sender of this information. Furthermore, this passive-active role can be differentiated into a figuratively gendered relationship, traditional to a great deal of literature of the late 1700s and early 1800s, such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Mary Shelley s Frankenstein, of the passive female role as recipient and the active male role of sender. Wedding Guest The wedding guest in Samuel Taylor Coleridge s The Rime

of the Ancient Mariner functions as the audience to the Mariner s tale. He is mesmerized by the Mariner s narrative of devastation and has no other choice but to sit and to listen to the hypnotic words. The gendered relationship between the narrator and the audience becomes evident in the opening of the story. The teller of this tale, the ancient Mariner, assumes the figuratively male role as the active narrator of a story, as the one who dictates what the audience hears. The audience of the tale, the wedding guest, assumes the feminine role as a passive receiver. This relationship is clearly demonstrated as the wedding guest seems to be hypnotized by the Mariner s words and cannot move from his position. At this point, the wedding guest will hear everything from the Mariner that

the reader will read, so he is also representative of Coleridge s relationship to his own audience, the reader. Based on this correlation between the wedding guest as the Mariner s audience and the reader as the author s audience, then, Coleridge is able to blatantly present the moral of his poem in the Mariner s farewell to the wedding guest. Since the Mariner s crew cannot be considered a moral authority of any sort because they are inconsistent, capricious, and superstitious, the wedding guest functions as a sort of moral authority to the Mariner s tale. The wedding guest does not appear to make any moral judgments about the Mariner for his deed, but it can be concluded that he does gain some moral understanding of the story because although the reader could stop reading at

any point, the wedding guest, who is hypnotized by the tale of devastation, remains through the duration of the story and is thus made a sadder and a wiser man after hearing it all. The Mariner s closing words to him in line 610 and on demonstrate his moral lesson: Farewell, farewell! but this I tell to thee, thou Wedding-Guest! He prayeth well., who loveth well both man and bird and beast. He prayeth best, who loveth best all things both great and small; for the dear God who loveth us, he made and loveth all. As the Mariner tells the wedding guest that God made and loves all of His creatures, he is also conveying a warning to him to show respect for all creatures, lest he be cast into the isolation and desolation that the Mariner experienced. Margaret Saville Margaret Saville

functions as the audience to her brother Robert Walton s letters from his voyage on the sea in Mary Shelley s Frankenstein. She reads everything that Walton writes from the beginning, so she is representative of the readers of the book. So then, even though Walton functions as the audience to Victor Frankenstein s tale, he turns around to record it in the form of his letters to his sister, his own audience. Margaret, then, assumes the passive role of the female receiver of information from an active male sender. This is also indicative Mary Shelley s role as the author, suggesting that she has assumed the active male role in her writing to her own audience of readers as the passive receivers of the culmination of her work. Margaret is confined to receiving news from the world