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From: StoneOx17@aol.com
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 09:59:14 EST
Subject: (urth) Castaway, Doors, and the Ancient Mariner

I think Charles Reed is absolutely right when he sees echoes of  the 
Ancient Mariner in Castaway.  I just want to comment that the Ancient 
Mariner is also referenced a couple of times in TAD, as well.  First, at 
the Grand Hotel, when Green sees a ship motionless, fighting a headwind, 
this makes him think of a poem: "A teacher had read it to him in school:
'As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean.'"  Second, when he
is thinking about streetcars, he thinks "They had been cheap, energy 
efficient, and nonpolluting.  Yet they had been done away with, and a 
hundred harmful gadgets had been allowed to stay."  To my ear, this 
echoes Coleridge:
The many men, so beautiful! / And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things / lived on; and so did I.

One thematic parallel of The Ancient Mariner to TAD seems fairly 
clear:  Green's life is going nowhere until he finds religion/meaning/Lara.
I don't see any further connections of the poem to There Are Doors, but 
they may just be more deeply hidden.

--Stone Ox


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