Loneliness, a theme in The Open Boat by Stephen Crane

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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. One powerful one is the boat. It is small and alone on the ocean, with only the occasional patch of seaweed or a seagull or two to keep it company. The waves themselves are the ups and downs of life. At any moment, a ‘wave’ can come and swamp you, leaving you stranded without a clue what to do, and more just keep coming. Just as in life, “…after successfully surmounting one wave you discover that there is another behind it just as important and just as nervously anxious to do something effective in the way of swamping boats.” Line 9.
Another symbol that is shown...
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