The Open Boat By Stephen Crane And Henry David Thoreau

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On August 29th, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the most expensive hurricane in American history, made landfall in Louisiana with winds of one hundred and twenty-seven miles per hour (“Hurricane Katrina Statistics Fast Facts”). The sheer magnitude of the amount of lives and property lost was enormous, and it was triggered simply by warm ocean waters near the Bahamas ("How Hurricane Katrina Formed"). Nature was indifferent to whether the raging winds and rain would die off in the ocean or wipe out cities; it only follows the rules of physics. A multitude of American authors has attempted to give accounts and interpretations of their encounters with the disinterested machine that is nature. Two authors, Stephen Crane and Henry David Thoreau, had rather contrasting and conflicting interpretations of their own interactions with nature. Crane’s work, “The Open Boat,” is story based on his experience as a survivor…show more content…
Crane was forced to contend with nature after his ship, the SS Commodore, sank into the ocean (Crane 18). He was constantly forced to act under the threat of death by drowning. If he didn’t step into nature to escape the sinking ship, he would drown. The same goes if his team didn’t row fast enough in their lifeboat. Crane’s goal was to leave nature’s cruel threats and return to civilization as fast as possible. His desire to escape from what he entered imbibed in him an acute sense of the dangers posed by the dispassionate being that nature is. Meanwhile, Thoreau voluntarily went to Walden Pond to determine whether he is capable of earning his “living by the labor of [his] hand only” (“Economy”, par. 1). He was trying to prove his ideas on self-reliance to be correct and applicable in the real world. Thus, he had an incentive to focus on the positive aspects of being alone with the surrounding

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