Naturalisn In The Open Boat Essay

Naturalisn In The Open Boat Essay

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In most traditional happy ending stories, there always appears to be evidence of supernaturalism. However, Stephen Crane leaves out all fairy tale elements and mystical creatures in his “The Open Boat”. Throughout the whole story, there are constant examples of the raw, realistic and indifferent parts of life. In Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat” naturalism is apparent through the use of language, literary techniques, and thematic elements.
First of all, Crane’s use of language played a large part in the naturalistic feel of the story. Crane makes sure to use specific phrases and words that describe things exactly the way that they actually appear. He does not ‘butter up’ or ‘candy coat’ their descriptions in order to prevent the reader from associating an emotion with the element. For example, Crane describes the ocean in a very realistic way; it does not make the reader feel anything in particular. “These waves were of the hue of slate, save for the tops, which were foaming white, ... The horizon narrowed and widened, and dipped and rose, and at all times its edge was jagged with waves that seemed thrust up in points like rocks.” Instead of him describing the water as beautiful and calm, he gives the reader a sense of the rational behavior of the ocean.
In addition, motifs, repetition, and dialogue are some of the important literary techniques used that helped to create this naturalistic story. A couple motifs in the story are the relentless waves of the ocean and the taunting shark. The waves are proof of the fact that the ocean is very much indifferent to those who experience it, along with any other part of nature. They are relentless, as they keep smashing into the side of the boat will all the power and strength of...


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... we do not know nature as its true form. Here and there, there are natural disasters, but on a day to day basis we just see nature as a beautiful picture through a window. Once we are put into a situation where we must deal with nature at her worst, we crumble and fall. We are naïve and constantly sheltered from her force and become helpless when we no longer have control. The men on this abandoned dingey are just a working part of the world, with no importance to nature. Crane successfully sends this message to the readers.
In conclusion, naturalism is obvious in many parts of Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat”. His specific use of language, literary techniques, and thematic elements provide solid examples of life and nature at their extreme. By showing the internal and physical struggles of these men in nature, Crane was able to capture naturalism at its best.

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