Analysis Of Stephen Crane 's ' The Open Boat ' Essay

Analysis Of Stephen Crane 's ' The Open Boat ' Essay

Length: 805 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Analysis of “The Open Boat”
In 1897 acclaimed writer Stephen Crane boarded a freighter commissioned to smuggle weapons and munitions to Cuba; he was to document the journey, but quickly after departure, the freighter sank. The literary classic "The Open Boat", which Crane penned after surviving this disaster, had nothing to do with the intended purpose of the voyage, but instead focused on the will of man versus nature and is the greatest short story of Naturalistic literature.
Protagonists carry a great significance in Naturalism( ). Crane begins not with the details of the sinking vessel, but by immediately introducing the surviving characters in a lifeboat: the ship’s captain, the cook, the correspondent and an oiler; introduced primarily by their shipboard occupations as nameless men that continued to observe a hierarchal societal structure, even during the matter of survival. The crew had knowledge of their distance to shore. Had the men been shipwrecked much farther out in the sea, it is doubtful this structure and the spirit of cooperation would have held for long, “Natural selection and survival of the fittest help to depict the struggle against nature as a hopeless fight” (Scheidenhelm).
The author highlighted two of four protagonists: The Captain and the cook. “The injured captain, lying in the bow, was at this time buried in that profound dejection and indifference which comes, temporarily at least, to even the bravest and most enduring when, willy nilly, the firm fails, the army loses, the ship goes down.”(Perkins). Here Crane tells us that we are not masters of our own destiny; even powerful men are humbled by fate.
The cook is depicted as somewhat lacking in seamanship skills and it is vaguely mentioned that he he...


... middle of paper ...


...ntain the human trait of interdependence by continuing to seek assistance from those ashore; baffled that they have not been observed and given immediate priority. This is an internal conflict man must continually overcome to arrive at his own independence. This is inherent in the will to live. If they would have arrived at this maturity sooner they would not have stayed overnight at sea, they could have formed a more intelligent plan to get to the shore.
Author Stephen Cranes “The Open Boat” further successfully helped the literary world to the Naturalism genre. When critiqued from a Formalist perspective what’s observed is how the story touches on many of the genres literary devices such as character class, determinism, and nature’s control of man. The author, quite the wordsmith, manages to write a very engaging story that will entertain for generations to come.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

An Analysis Of Stephen Crane 's ' The Open Boat ' Essay

- A Mysterious Treasure Hidden in “The Open Boat" A tone readers clearly find in “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane, is loneliness. That particular tone is easily seen when; a group of four men are in a ten foot dinghy with nothing to either their north, south, east, or west except the water around their position. “The men seem to recognize that they are helpless in the face of nature. Their lives could be lost at any moment by the most common of natural phenomena: a wave, a current, the wind, a shark, or even simple starvation and exposure....   [tags: The Open Boat, Stephen Crane, Ocean, Commodore]

Better Essays
1525 words (4.4 pages)

Analysis of The Open Boat by Stephen Crane Essay

- Analysis of The Open Boat by Stephen Crane Story: “The Open Boat,” 1897 Author: Stephen Crane (1871-1900) Central Character: There is no real central character in this story. All the men on the boat are spoken about more or less equally and no prominent character jumps out at the reader as being the central character. Although more emphasis is put onto the correspondent, and Billie the oiler. Other Character: The cook: bails water from boat. Billie the oiler: steers and rows boat, is the only of the men that does not make it alive to land....   [tags: The Open Boat Stephen Crane Essays]

Better Essays
1402 words (4 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' The Open Boat '

- Literary Criticism Essay “The Open Boat” fixates on the idea that Nature doesn’t care about man, and gives a glimpse of how men form a bond of brotherhood to overcome it. Stephen Crane’s poem War Is Kind exemplifies the disdain ways of nature and how it engenders it to be dispassionate towards men. Crane exemplifies that Nature finds man unworthy of its consideration by the way he writes about death. In the beginning of the poem Crane writes “Because your lover threw wild hands towards the sky And the affrighted steed ran on alone, Do not weep....   [tags: The Open Boat, Stephen Crane, Literature, Man]

Better Essays
771 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The Open Boat by Stephen Crane

- “The Open Boat”” “From the first moment [sentence referencing “the sky”], … The Open Boat proceeds as a traditional sea journey to knowledge, and the knowledge it attains is equally as mysterious or religious as that envisioned in other great American sea journeys ---…” The “Open Boat” is a short story written by Stephen Crane (1871-1900). This story develops the tragic fate of the SS Commodore. This ship had for mission to transport ammunition for the Cuban rebels from Jacksonville, Florida to Cuba with his 28 Souls On Board....   [tags: Short Story Analysis]

Better Essays
1170 words (3.3 pages)

Stephen Crane's The Open Boat Essay

- Nature is its own being. It does not care how it affects people, nor does it care whether its actions are understood by man. Nature does not set out to purposely harm nor help anyone. In other words, it is not cruel or compassionate. It is simply its own indifferent being. Stephen Crane shows this in his short story, “The Open Boat”. Stephen Crane writes this story from a real life experience in which he too was stranded on a dinghy after being shipwrecked. Through this story, his feelings about nature are revealed (Spofford 1)....   [tags: nature's indifference, literary analysis]

Better Essays
1242 words (3.5 pages)

The Open Boat by Stephen Crane Essays

- In the story "The Open Boat," by Stephen Crane, Crane uses many literary techniques to convey the stories overall theme. The story is centered on four men: a cook, a correspondent, Billie, an oiler who is the only character named in the story, and a captain. They are stranded in a lifeboat in stormy seas just off the coast of Florida, just after their ship has sunk. Although they can eventually see the shore, the waves are so big that it is too dangerous to try to take the boat in to land. Instead, the men are forced to take the boat further out to sea, where the waves are not quite as big and dangerous....   [tags: Short Story Analysis, Writing Techniques]

Better Essays
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Stephen Crane's The Open Boat

- “The Open Boat” was written by Stephen Crane in 1897. This is an extremely powerful short story fictionalized by one of Crane’s own experiences out at sea. He is able to use what has happened to him, and spice it up to turn his story into a fictional account everyone can relate to. The reasons this story is so powerful is because of the literary devices Crane uses throughout the story, especially symbolism. In “The Open Boat,” Crane uses the four main characters, the dinghy, the waves, and the sea-weed as symbols to produce a microcosm of society....   [tags: literary analysis, fiction novels]

Better Essays
1108 words (3.2 pages)

Stephen Crane's The Open Boat Essay

- Stephen Crane’s story, “The Open Boat”, retells a tragic event that actually occurred in his life. This story is told from a third person point-of-view. He chooses to let a narrator reveal the character’s emotions and inner thoughts. From this perspective, the reader can fully experience what happened during their struggle to survive. Crane wants the reader to connect with each individual character and feel their independent struggle as they work together to reach the shore alive. The narrator helps the reader to feel the despair of the freezing, drowning men and the pain of losing one of the “Brotherhood”....   [tags: Story, Personal Narrative, Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
1312 words (3.7 pages)

Loneliness, a theme in The Open Boat by Stephen Crane Essay

- In “The Open Boat,” the author, Stephen Crane, uses symbols and events to emphasize the fact that we are all alone in life, even if there are people around us. Nobody knows what is going through our minds. Each experience is different, even if they all are looking at the same thing. Just like with the blind men and the elephant, the cook, the correspondent, the captain, and the oiler all are in the boat together, but each one has their own experiences. There are several symbols in the story that help to emphasize that point....   [tags: Literature, Analysis]

Better Essays
576 words (1.6 pages)

The Open Boat Essay

- “When it came night, the white waves passed to and fro in the moonlight, and the wind brought the sound of the great sea’s voice to the men on the shore, and they felt they could then be interpreters” (Crane 370). “The Open Boat,” written by Stephen Crane, describes the journey of four men stranded in a dinghy in the middle of the ocean and the hardships that had to be faced in order to survive. This story is not only a riveting story, keeping readers on the edge of their seat, but the story also makes the reader realize how precious life truly is....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Stephen Crane]

Better Essays
2637 words (7.5 pages)