What do they represent?
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Not only are the Pilot and Pilot's Boy coming to rescue the Ancient Mariner, but a Hermit has come out of the woods to help them. By definition, a hermit is someone who lives in seclusion in a natural setting, making the natural world his shrine and living place. He does not venture out into society, and certainly not on the ocean. The Hermit that the Ancient Mariner meets is joyous and social, urging the Pilot and Pilot's Boy on even though they are afraid of the tattered ship. Although at the end of Part 6 the Ancient Mariner knows that he will soon be home and believes that the Hermit can absolve him of his sin, the reader can't help but suspect that more horror is in store.