Реферат: The Open Boat By Stephen Crane Essay

The Open Boat By Stephen Crane Essay, Research Paper

Short Story Essay

?The Open Boat?

Four men drift across a January sea in an open boat, since they lost their ship some time after dawn. Now, in the clear light of day, the men begin to grasp the full gravity of their situation. Realizing that their main conflict will be man versus nature, in this case, the raging sea. In the short story ?The Open Boat,? Stephen Crane gives an itemized description of the two days spent on a ten-foot dinghy by four men a cook, a correspondent, which is Crane himself, the injured Captain and Billy Higgens, the oiler. The men in the open boat show us that compassion for one?s comrade, unfeeling endurance, and courage are the true moral standards in a neutral universe.

Characterization creates the setting in this story. It is said in the book that the protagonist?s personality sets the action or the setting in a story. The four men in this story make up the entire cast; there is no one protagonist. An all-knowing narrator writes this story, which is Crane. This story also enforces that this is a collective experience. The emotional support and the knowledge of the sea come from the injured captain. The strength and endurance comes from the correspondent and the oiler, which keeps them all, headed in the right direction. The cook is an example of the three that are ignorant about the raging sea. Characterization is a prime example of setting of this story since the characters make up the majority of the setting.

The setting in ?The Open Boat? creates the story. ?A seat in this boat was not unlike a seat upon a bucking bronco, and by the same token a bronco is not much smaller. The craft pranced and reared and plunged like an animal.? These few lines help the reader to imagine the ride of the men?s lives. The slate color of the water explains the downcast mood of the passengers in this ten-foot dinghy. It is explained in the story that many men should have a bathtub bigger than the boat they were riding in. This is amazing at the beginning of the story, when Crane mentions that they were the only ones to survive how ungrateful these characters are to be alive in this big hateful world. During the story the correspondent realizes how lucky he is to be alive and how this was the best experience of his life. He learns how not to be cynical of men because we are all in the war against nature together.

While the men are afloat they learn a highly momentous lesson about man versus nature. The natural world does not play favorites among men. The captain realizes this when all of his crew goes down with the ship except him and three other men. The correspondent found this to be true when the shark was hunting him while he rowed. The war with nature raged on in the story showing no signs of letting go. With nature playing tricks on them as they go. For example, The people on the beach, waving at them. Also, the man swinging his coat continuously. Then when the thought it could not get worse the boat capsizes. When the exhausted passengers eventually drifted to shore the oiler finds himself a victim of man versus nature.

Another conflict in this story was with man versus self. An example of this conflict is, ?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?? All four men were found to be arguing this at some point in the story. While the men are at war with nature they are also at war with themselves, trying to ponder nature. Another example, is when the cook starts thinking and talking about pies and ham sandwiches because he is so hungry, and the oiler gets mad and tells him to hush up. Also, the captain fighting with his inner self wonders how in the world his ship could sink. Wondering why he did not go down with his ship to save another crew member. Meanwhile, the oiler fights with himself wondering why he is going through so much pain and suffering of rowing the boat when they are all going to die anyway. Man versus self is can sometimes be more of a killer than man versus nature because of the mental anguish a person can go through to find reasons why nature would do this to him.

The men in ?The Open Boat? has shown us that no one person or a group can out smart or out think nature. Nature has shown us that it does not play favorites. As a result, four men land on an island and only three live to tell about their war against nature. In conclusion, nature does things for a reason, we might not always be able to know why but there is a reason.

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