The Other Boat Essay

The Other Boat Essay

Length: 1606 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Other Boat


Who am I? Why do I do what I do? When can I break the rules of society without being guilty? In the unique agony of seeking understanding, acceptance, and love, these several questions echo poignantly throughout human history. For all people these introspective problems—while difficult—desperately need answers, as answers to these questions dictate the choice to stay within the bounds of accepted ethics or to step out. The importance and difficulty of finding good answers to these questions intensifies for atheists and agnostics, since they must formulate answers with the full responsibility for their conclusions resting on their own shoulders. No religion can answer these questions for them. Thus, Forster, a humanist who shunned organized religions and endorsed the creation of individualistic creeds, if choosing to step out from established laws and customs, must ask, on his own, if his justifications hold true or if they converge with all other crimes against society. “The Other Boat” contains many of Forster’s personal humanistic moral perspectives on many issues including class conflict, colonization, racism, and adultery. However, most centrally, through a perspective of naturalistic fatalism, “The Other Boat” contains Forster’s personal moral justifications for homosexuality.

Readily available contexts for discovering and analyzing Forster’s moral justifications appear throughout critical scholarship on “The Other Boat,” yet many critics overlook these humanistic conclusions. In a biographical essay on Forster’s life, Carrol Viera notes that the collection The Life to Come and Other Stories, which includes “The Other Boat,” has generally been analyzed by critics from two perspectives. Most critics, she says...


... middle of paper ...


...ose difficult recurring questions, and from his own unique perspective he answers boldly: I am a homosexual. I do what I do because my nature dictates I must do it. I can break the rules of society without being guilty for nature disallows doing otherwise. These arguments for justified homosexuality live on today, and in many ways Forster’s naturalistic answers remain the dominant answers given by modern homosexuals. Through “The Other Boat” Forster gives their moral argument an early and eloquent voice, and though we agree or disagree we should laud him for that.


Works Cited

Forster, Edward Morgan. "The Other Boat." The Norton Anthology English Literature. Ed. Stephan Greenblatt. Vol. F. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006.

Viera, Carrol. “E. M. Forster.” Dictionary of Literary Biography. Ed. John H. Rogers. Vol. 162. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1996.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' The Open Boat '

- 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....   [tags: The Open Boat, Stephen Crane, Literature, Man]

Better Essays
771 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The Open Boat By Stephen Crane

- American author, Stephen Crane often wrote about different predicaments that his fellow men encounters. “The Open Boat” is a fictional account of his experience as a correspondent shipwrecked while on expedition to the Cuban revolutionaries in 1897 (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/stephen-crane) where he spent over 30 hours on a life boat with three other passengers. This realistic story depicts how four men are forced onto a 10 foot dingy after their ship sinks. Crane takes a realist approach when describing the natural elements such as unsettling winds and the raging seas which represent the uncaring and unforgiving nature of life....   [tags: The Open Boat, Stephen Crane, Nature, Man]

Better Essays
701 words (2 pages)

Essay about The Open Boat By Stephen Crane

- Never rely on others “Don’t depend too much on anyone in this world. Because even your shadow leaves you when you’re in darkness” (lbn Taymiyyah). The idea of this quote may seem ridiculous to some people that do not depend on anyone, because in this world, people have too many families and friends that we can rely on. However there are some situations that our friends and families cannot help up out. Like in the story “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane, tells a story about four men-a captain, a cook, an oiler, and a correspondent who float in an open boat over the sea....   [tags: The Open Boat, Stephen Crane, Help me, A Story]

Better Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

Stephen Crane's The Open Boat Essay

- Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat"        “None of them knew the color of the sky.” This first sentence in Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat” implies the overall relationship between the individual and nature. This sentence also implies the limitations of anyone’s perspective. The men in the boat concentrate so much on the danger they are in, that they are oblivious and unaware to everything else; in other words, maybe lacking experience. “The Open Boat” begins with a description of four men aboard a small boat on a rough sea....   [tags: Open Boat Stephen Crane Essays]

Better Essays
776 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about The Power of Nature Revealed in The Open Boat

- The Power of Nature Revealed in The Open Boat     In 1894, Stephen Crane said, "A man said to the universe: 'Sir, I exist!' 'However,' replied the universe, 'The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.'" This short encounter of man and nature is representative of Crane’s view of nature. However, he did not always see nature as indifferent to man. In 1887, he survived a shipwreck with two other men. "The Open Boat" is his account from an outsider’s point of view of the two days spent in a dinghy....   [tags: Open Boat Essays]

Better Essays
930 words (2.7 pages)

Stephen Crane's The Open Boat Essay

- Stephen Crane's The Open Boat Humanity often tends to see itself as being somehow important in the grand scheme of the Universe. We speak of 'fate' as if we were put here for some reason, or purpose. We have our religions, which often serve as an engine to drive our lives and as a means to give meaning to them. But why do we think of ourselves in such a superior fashion. Do we really matter at all. Would the Universe stop if we were suddenly taken away. In his short story, 'The Open Boat,' Stephen Crane shows us a Universe totally unconcerned with the affairs of humankind; it is an indifferent Universe in which Man has to struggle to survive....   [tags: Stephen Crane Open Boat Essays Papers]

Better Essays
1032 words (2.9 pages)

Analysis of The Open Boat by Stephen Crane Essay

- Analysis of The Open Boat by Stephen Crane Story: “The Open Boat,” 1897 Author: Stephen Crane (1871-1900) Central Character: There is no real central character in this story. All the men on the boat are spoken about more or less equally and no prominent character jumps out at the reader as being the central character. Although more emphasis is put onto the correspondent, and Billie the oiler. Other Character: The cook: bails water from boat. Billie the oiler: steers and rows boat, is the only of the men that does not make it alive to land....   [tags: The Open Boat Stephen Crane Essays]

Better Essays
1402 words (4 pages)

Relationship between the Individual and Nature in The Open Boat Essay

- Relationship between the Individual and Nature in "The Open Boat"         From the beginning, the four characters in the aftermath of a shipwreck do not know "the colour of the sky" but all of them know "the colours of the sea."  This opening strongly suggests the symbolic situations in which human beings are located in the universe.  The sky personifies the mysterious, inconceivable cause of reality , which humans cannot understand, and the sea symbolizes the earthy, mundane phenomenon, which humans are supposed to perceive.  The symbolic picture generated by the above conflict implies the overall relationship between the individual and nature.   In fact, the daily life of human beings...   [tags: Open Boat Essays]

Free Essays
553 words (1.6 pages)

The Open Boat By Stephen Crane Essay

- No Bricks and No Temples: Coping with Crisis in “The Open Boat” Stephen Crane’s story “The Open Boat” concerns four people who are trying to reach land after surviving a shipwreck off of the Florida coast. During the course of the story, they face dangers that are real physical threats, but they also have to deal with trying to make sense of their situation. The characters in this story cope with their struggles in two ways: individually, they each imagine that Nature, or Fate, or God, is behind their experiences, which allows them to blame some outside force for their struggle, and together, they form a bond of friendship that helps them keep their spirits up....   [tags: The Open Boat, Stephen Crane, Man]

Better Essays
1578 words (4.5 pages)

Determinism, Objectivity, and Pessimism in The Open Boat Essay

- Determinism, Objectivity, and Pessimism in The Open Boat         In Stephen Crane's short story "The Open Boat", the American literary school of naturalism is used and three of the eight features are most apparent, making this work, in my opinion, a good example of the school of naturalism. These three of the eight features are determinism, objectivity, and pessimism. They show, some more than others, how Stephen Crane viewed the world and the environment around him.         Determinism is of course the most obvious of the three features....   [tags: Open Boat Essays]

Free Essays
694 words (2 pages)