Open Boat Essay

1479 Words Mar 9th, 2014 6 Pages
The Open Boat
What can Man do when faced with a Universe that has no concern for him? Begin to contemplate the belief that man has a role in the universe, that existence should mean something. A feeling of loneliness is conveyed from the understanding that man is alone in the universe and insignificant to the workings of the universe. In “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane, Crane exemplifies mans insignificance to the universe and nature because ultimately fate decides and fate is an indifferent, uncontrollable, and inevitable force that possesses no consciousness that people can understand. “The Open Boat” reflects Naturalistic ideas, the era in the late nineteenth century when American was growing rapidly and the individual felt
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Four men-the captain, the cook, the oiler, and the correspondent are shipwrecked after the steamer the Commodore sank. The introduction of “The Open Boat” first describes the four men and their efforts to make it to salvation by rowing in a ten-foot dingy. The rising action is reveled through uses of descriptive imagery of the sea. The brutal forces of the sea and the near realization of death creates the conflict the men are faced with. The climax begins as the men reach sight of land but are unfortunately mistaken for fishermen, beginning a long night in search for salvation (Crane 225-27). Symbolism is spread across the story to lead insight of the men’s feelings as well as insight to their surroundings. After the dreaded long night of rowing the men spot land and make plans to swim ahead creating the falling action of the story (Crane 238). The sea is primarily identified as an indifferent force during the swim toward land by choosing to save the correspondent but killing the oiler, resolving and ending the story (Crane 240).The conflicts of “The Open Boat” are both internal and external in order to explain the man vs. nature concept. Directly at the beginning the external conflict is reveled as Scaggs 3being the sea and nature itself. “After successfully surmounting one wave you discover that there is another behind it just as important and

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