The Open Boat is based off the true story of the sinking of the Commodore. Stephen Crane had a traumatic shipwreck in January 1897. After the crash on the 10-foot boat, Crane was lost at sea for 30 hours. He was later rescued and wrote 3 different writings on the sinking of Commodore (Eye). Crane’s afterthought of the sinking of the Commodore led to the short story. It was initially published as “Stephen Crane’s Own Story” (Hayes). The Open Boat is now a fictional tale written by Stephen Crane to portray his struggling experience. Dudley specifies, “In his role as war correspondent, Crane booked passage to cover the revolt in Cuba and nearly lost his life in a shipwreck off the coast of Florida in January 1897--events that would form the basis for "The Open Boat (Dudley)”. The correspondent in the story can easily be realized as the author himself. Crane wrote “The Open Boat” when the initial thought of the literary world was the realism and naturalism were the primary focus (Eye). Eye’s observation is a key point to why so many people lean toward the fiction aspect of The Open Boat.
Although many disputes broke out about the idea of “The Open Boat” being fact or fiction, a vote of many scholarly patrons weighed toward the fictional aspect. This brought a wave of studies in the field of American literature. Eye Clarifies, “Among scholars, the consensus seems to be that, while "The Open Boat" is based in fact and served as an outlet for Crane's creative impulses, it is a work of fiction, one that has had great impact on the study of American literature and, in particular, the short story” (Eye). Debates are constantly roused over the fact or fiction aspect of the story.
When analyzing “The Open Boat”, commentators come from the ...
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... and the Short Story." Stephen Crane. Devon, U.K.: Northcote House, 2004. 62-69. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Jelena O. Krstovic. Vol. 129. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.
LaFrance, Marston. "'The Matter That Pleased Himself.'." A Reading of Stephen Crane. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971. 192-242. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Jelena O. Krstovic. Vol. 129. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.
Metzger, Charles R. "Realistic Devices in Stephen Crane's 'The Open Boat'." The Midwest Quarterly 4.1 (Oct. 1962): 47-54. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Joseph Palmisano. Vol. 70. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.
"The Open Boat." Short Story Criticism. Ed. Joseph Palmisano. Vol. 70. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.