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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Boxer

            Hard times exist in every era of human history. Whether born in the romantic period of gothic poets, or the hippie era of 1960s folk rock, struggle is a part of basic human life. Through times of despair, the will to continue on is the only way to get past the dark times surrounding oneself. Perseverance and redemption define the power one holds within their own life. Though centuries divided them, Samuel Coleridge and Paul Simon both displayed their own tales of perseverance through their respective works of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" " and "The Boxer." In Coleridge's literary ballad the reader follows the tale of a mysterious mariner's gothic trip upon a ship which becomes haunted by his penance after he kills a watchful albatross, and his journey to appease his guilt and curse. Following a more modern tale, Simon's "The Boxer" tells of a struggling man living in New York City, and his perseverance through his hard times. Through binding elements within these two works such as first person citation, contrasting themes, and diction both artists are able to portray their own ideas on the power of perseverance and redemption.
             The personal expression of a first person ballad reveals much within a piece of poetic work. Both Coleridge and Simon used personalized stories in order to convey ideas on perseverance and redemption. By writing in first person, the artists place the reader into the story and create a world in which to be immersed. This complete immersion into the story makes the emotions of doubt, guilt, or sadness more real to the reader, and therefore makes the feelings of redemption more important as they progress through the ballad. In the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" the mariner himself retells his journey to a wedding goer, stretching his horrifying tale on for hundreds of lines. Since the mariner is telling this story from his own perspective, it is unknown how much of the gothic tale is true, and how much is fable.

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