The Open Boat - Essay Example

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“The Open Boat” - analysis “The Open Boat” is a short story by Stephen Crane written on the basis of his life’s experience of surviving a shipwreck. This is a story of the adventures of four men on the sea in a small boat striving for survival amidst the wilderness of nature…
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The Open Boat
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Download file to see previous pages This is quite contradictory to the notion that human beings hold an importance in this Universe and humanity was created with some purpose. It might compel one to think if the Universe and its activities would come to a halt if a human being dies. This piece of literature shows how the nature and her elements move in their self-determined ways despite the fate of the four sailors who struggle against uncertainties of their fate through mutual support. The opening scene of the story introduces us to four survivors of a shipwreck, the captain, the oiler who is called Billy, the correspondent (the author who underwent the similar experience was also a correspondent at that time) and the cook. The author gives a detail description of all the men. For instance the cook is obese and shabbily attired, bailing water from the boat and positive about their rescue, the oiler is physically strong and rows with a single oar along with the correspondent who is with another oar and apparently detached from the group. The captain on the other hand lies in an injured condition at the base of the boat. The opposition between human fate and nature is best reflected in the lines “The birds sat comfortably in groups, and they were envied by some in the dingey for the wrath of the sea was no more to them than it was to a covey of prairie chickens a thousand miles inland” (Crane). ...
The normal activities of nature seemed hostile and aggressive to the men. In fact the author brings out the angry thoughts of the men as follows: “If I am going to be drowned--if I am going to be drowned--if I am going to be drowned, why, in the name of the seven mad gods who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees?...If this old ninny-woman, Fate, cannot do better than this, she should be deprived of the management of men's fortunes” (Crane). Human beings often show their desperation through expressions of anger against nature. Such conditions of men bring them to a point where they want to vent their wrath on religion and God by throwing bricks at the temples. The next reason of exasperation comes when the men find there are no temples. Though the men at first thinks their fates are guided by some form of Gods. One on hand they feel “childish and stupid” to show any kind of optimism, while on the other any “open suggestion of hopelessness” is not a wise demeanor (Crane). Crane tries to point out that humanity is not in a glorious position but one amongst he other components of nature and just like the society pursues their everyday activities, even the Universe would be undisturbed at the absence of human race. This is presented in contrast with the concept of the 19th century suggesting that the ultimate form of creation is human being (D’Ammassa, 174). The sole ray of hope comes from their mutual dependence and obtaining support from one another at times of distress. Such situations compel men to understand what it is like to be in the midst of a harsh reality and makes them realize the importance of comradeship. The men constantly get into fights, which ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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