Literary Analysis Of The Open Boat By Stephen Crane

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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. War is kind.” The death of a soldier is briefly explained in this excerpt of the poem. The way Crane writes this part makes it seem like the maiden is being mocked by nature because her lover’s death
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Given the fact that nature is known for sneering in man’s face, it is no surprise that it also very dispassionate towards people. War Is Kind use the line “A field where a thousand corpses lie.” to describe the battlefields of the war. When most people talk about the casualties of war they are addressed as soldiers, whereas the poem uses corpses. This takes away any honor or identity from these dead bodies, showing that nature has a way of making death very impersonal. Understanding this concept can help grasp a more intricate comprehension of the following scene in “The Open Boat.” The Oiler dies in a very tragic way, and when they finally bring his body to shore it is described as “A quiet and wet shape” (Crane, Pg.15) In a 5 word sentence any identity he had, vanished. This is a great example of how impersonal nature gets when man dies, stripping them of any ounce of dignity they had. War Is Kind shares many of the same ideas that “The Open Boat” does and by getting grasp of what is being said in the poem, will lead to a greater understanding
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