Essay about The Open Boat, By Stephen Crane And Henry David Thoreau

Essay about 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 of a shipwreck. Meanwhile, “Solitude” from Walden by Thoreau reflects upon the nature surrounding the author during his experiment with the principles of self-reliance at Walden Pond. Even though both men had experienced nature first-hand, Thoreau’s remarks on nature seem to be overly jovial and optimistic, while Crane’s appraisal of the world as a cruel and inconsiderate figure serves as a reminder that the earth is unsympathetic to the survival of the human race, which is more relevant in modern-day America, where humans are are messing with nature and consequently threatening their own survival.
While Crane and Thoreau had both put themselves into the wilderness, their intentions for doing so were different, which affected their interpretations of nature. Crane was forced to contend with nature after his ship, the SS Commodore, ...


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...entiment.
While both Crane and Thoreau are very qualified to make assertions about nature due to their encounters with it, Crane’s depressing opinion on nature deserves more attention in America today, where its residents are contributing to a change in the climate of the earth, which is contributing to the extinction of many species and potentially affecting the livability of the Earth for humans in the future. Nature is not concerned about what humans are doing or the effects that it may unleash on the people. While Thoreau is sometimes referred to as “America’s first environmentalist” (Thoreau Institute), his optimism on the benevolence of nature is best to be wary of during a time when humans are not fully knowing what they are doing when manipulating nature. In such a time, it is important to be reminded of nature’s lack of sympathy for humans or anything else.

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