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The Open Boat

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❶The surface was only barely scratched here.

by Stephen Crane

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He saysThis tower was a giant, standing with its back to the plight of the ants. It represented in a degree, to the correspondent, the serenity of nature amid the struggles of the individual-nature in the vision of men. She did not seem cruel to him then, or beneficent, nor treacherous, nor wise. But she was indifferent, flatly indifferent It seems that nature and also this windmill are representative of God and his indifference to what happens to people.

The high, cold star that the correspondent notices in the sky later in the story also communicates his idea of the indifference of nature and the idea that there is not a personal God involved in the affairs of men.

In an important sequence that is repeated in the story the correspondent rails about the absurdity of his plight and the discovery that there is no temple and thus no God. Nevertheless, while the correspondent realizes the dehumanizing pathos of his situation, he also learns that in his wretched isolation he becomes a part of mankind However, in place of solitary, or unorchestrated efforts, the four men struggle in unison.

Crane makes an allusion to a common and somewhat trite poem from his childhood about a soldier of the legion dying in Algiers. Perhaps he, as others, had grown indifferent to the rote sentimentality of the poem.

The correspondent in the story realizes that he is not alone. The captain stays awake with his men, also sees the shark, and thus reduces feelings of isolation for the others. The oiler and the correspondent share the work of rowing and ask for relief only when utter fatigue overtakes them. Even when the boat finally swamps, the correspondent is aware and concerned about his companions.

Solomon states that here in lies the lesson of the open boat-the fellowship and comradeship, which overtake the ego of each individual The captain calls to the correspondent not to go it alone, but come back to the boat. Only the oiler, the strongest of the four, who uses his own individual strength as a swimmer to save himself, dies. They began not having even basic awareness and ended with being not just aware but interpreters. It appears that the experience between those two statements enabled them to gain knowledge.

What knowledge do the men in the open boat acquire? Besides the color of the sky statement, there are other parts of the story where knowledge is not available to the crew. At the end of Section I, the cook and the correspondent argue about the house of refuge and its function. Does it have a crew? Is it a life-saving station? The problem of this lack of knowledge is brought up again when the house presents itself, and their lack of knowledge is cause for frustration.

Metress makes the case that the lack of knowledge knowing the color of the sky in the beginning is of no consequence, since the crew does not care and this lack of knowledge does not affect their ability to survive at that moment. He calls this epistemological indifference. The lack of knowledge about the house in Section IV does, however, affect their ability to survive and is a cause for frustration and conjecture. Metress then states that epistemological indifference moves to epistemological anxiety First, the cook and the correspondent argue as to the life saving capacity of the house of refuge near Mosquito Inlet.

This information is of no interest, but not of utmost concern considering their distance from it. As they get close enough to actually see a house, they need to know the status of the house.

Their lack of knowledge here causes anxiety and frustration Metress Soon, however, the narrator of the story shares with the reader that there are no life-saving stations along the coast in that area Metress There is a van or a boat of some sort, and a man that is swinging his coat. They don't actually try to help the crew they just wave and watch from afar.

The crew is discouraged yet again, and head out into the water. After swearing into the sea the correspondent remembers a rhyme from his childhood that he once did not care about but now does. The captain awakes and the oiler and the correspondent switch spots. The men prepare to jump from the ship and swim ashore. The captain holds onto the boat afraid he will drown.

A man appears on the beach naked and helps the men onto the shore. Everyone makes it except for Billie the oiler who is found face down in the sand dead. Crane has the ability to create multiple tones all in one passage. The tone seems to be a tad dreary and tragic do to the fact that at any moment the men could all be drowned. Although, when there is dialogue there is more of a straight forward and comic tone that demonstrates the increasing friendship that is apparent to the reader, although the men refuse to mention it.

This tone is important because, Crane makes his characters out to be helpless against the element of nature and it's over bearing on them. Thus, this bond between the men is the only thing they have to overcome the environment. One thing that Crane has been known for is his use of imagery and similes in his writing. His use of Imagery and detail bring a repeating setting like the ocean, more to life. The reader is able to form a vivid picture in their mind with the Crane's use of adjectives and colors.

This style contrast with that of when the characters are speaking. When dialogue occurs, the text seems very simple and rudimentary where as when no dialogue is used the text is far more detailed and alive. Crane's use of similes makes it so one can possibly relate or have a better understanding of what is occurring.

For example how he describes riding in the dinghy like riding a bucking bronco. The ironic ideas in this story are those of perhaps after all the work the men have gone through that they would be allowed to drown before they were able to set foot on land again. Crane constantly pushes us toward accepting the bleak proposition that life is a brutal struggle for survival in which there are no certainties of success.

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“The Open Boat” is based on Stephen Crane’s own experience of a shipwreck in Crane had been working as a war correspondent when he sailed for Cuba on the ship Commodore. He was stranded in a lifeboat with three other men for thirty hours.

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The Open Boat Compare and Contrast Essay Words | 5 Pages. Feb. 3, The Open Boat Compare and Contrast Essay Rough Draft This paper is about the story “The Open Boat.

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Free Essay: In Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat”, Crane demonstrates his idea that man cannot even attempt to best nature by the isolation and trials of the. The Open Boat by Stephen Crane 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.

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