Stephen Crane uses a massive, ominous stove, sprawled out in a tiny room and burning with "god-like violence," as a principal metaphor to communicate his interpretation of the world. Full of nearly restrained energy, the torrid stove is a symbol of the burning, potentially eruptive earth to which humans "cling" and of which they are a part. As a literary naturalist, Crane interpreted reality from a Darwinian perspective, and saw the earth driven by adamant natural laws, violent and powerful laws which are often hostile to humans and their societies, and he conceived of humans as accidents, inhabiting a harsh, irrational, dangerous world. Crane's famous depiction of the world is this: It is "a whirling, fire-smote, ice-locked, disease-stricken, space-lost bulb" (Crane 783). With two of his short stories, "The Blue Hotel" and "The Open Boat," Crane explores how humans react when the stove bursts and natural flames blaze furiously; Crane sets two different groups of men into situations in which the laws of nature are against them. The natural laws that govern the weather and the ocean storm against a group of men who are trying, albeit in an exhausted dinghy, to make the coast of Florida in the story "The Open Boat." In "The Blue Hotel," the animalistic laws that determine human behavior birth chaos among a group of strangers. One can readily see both similarities and differences in the reactions of the two groups of men to the world. That, in both stories, both groups of men are shocked and yet charmed by the violence of nature is an essential similarity; that in one story the men work together to save one another and in the other story the men beat ...
... middle of paper ...
...red A. Knopf Inc., 1992.
Crane, Stephen. "The Open Boat." The University of Virginia Edition of the Works of Stephen Crane: Volume V, Tales of Adventure. Ed. Fredson Bowers. Charlottesville: UP of Virginia, 1970.
Gerstenberger, Donna. "'The Open Boat': An Additional Perspective." Modern Fiction Studies 17 (1971-72):557-561.
Gibson, William M., ed. The Red Badge of Courage and Selected Prose and Poetry by Stephen Crane. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1950.
Halliburton, David. The Color of the Sky: A Study of Stephen Crane. New York: Cambridge UP, 1989.
Johnson, Paul. Modern Times, The World from the Twenties to the Eighties. New York: Harper Colophon Books, Harper and Row Publishers, 1983.
Kent, Thomas L "The Problem of Knowledge in'The Open Boat'and 'The Blue Hotel." American Literary Realism 14 (1981): 262-268.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Importance of Setting in Stephen Crane's The Blue Hotel In 'The Blue Hotel,' Stephen Crane uses various provocative techniques to ensure that the setting adds to the richness of the story. 'The Blue Hotel' is set in a cold Nebraska town at the Palace Hotel in the late 1800's, but there is more to setting than just when and where a story takes place. In a written work, it is the author's job to vividly depict events in order to keep the reader?s attention and to create colorful mental images of places, objects, or situations.... [tags: Blue Hotel Essays Stephen Crane]
1511 words (4.3 pages)
- In the novel of “The Red Badge of Courage”, the author, Stephen Crane used Henry Fleming to be his subject for how situational surrounding can affect one’s behaviors and characters. Throughout Crane’s novel, he managed to prove that war can have a big effect on people. he used protagonist, Henry Fleming, to support his belief of war thoroughly with details of battles, Henry’s actions during battles and the scenes of dead people. Stephen Crane wrote, “He imagined some strange voice would come from the dead throat and squawk after him in horrible menaces” (Crane 60).... [tags: Literary Analysis, Naturalism, Realism]
991 words (2.8 pages)
- Expectations versus Reality in Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage The notion that war is an exciting, romantic endeavor full of glory and heroism has existed for centuries. Stephen Crane set out to demystify war through his novel The Red Badge of Courage, which traces the experiences of a young soldier in the American Civil War. Crane shows the true nature of war by contrasting Henry Fleming's romantic expectations with the reality that he encounters. This contrast between romantic vision and cold reality can be seen early in the novel, with Henry's departure from home.... [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]
811 words (2.3 pages)
- The Effects of War on a Union Soldier in The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane traces the effects of war on a Union soldier, Henry Fleming, from his dreams of soldiering to his actual enlistment. The novel also takes one through several battles of the Civil War. Henry Fleming was not happy with his boring life on the farm. He wants to become a hero in war and have girls loving him for his glorious achievements in battle. He would also like to prove that he is a man and can take care of himself.... [tags: Papers]
692 words (2 pages)
- 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]
701 words (2 pages)
- Analysis of “The Open Boat” In 1897 acclaimed writer Stephen Crane boarded a freighter commissioned to smuggle weapons and munitions to Cuba; he was to document the journey, but quickly after departure, the freighter sank. The literary classic "The Open Boat", which Crane penned after surviving this disaster, had nothing to do with the intended purpose of the voyage, but instead focused on the will of man versus nature and is the greatest short story of Naturalistic literature. Protagonists carry a great significance in Naturalism( ).... [tags: The Open Boat, Stephen Crane, Nature]
805 words (2.3 pages)
- It is not surprising for an author’s background and surroundings to profoundly affect his writing. Having come from a Methodist lineage and living at a time when the church was still an influential facet in people’s daily lives, Stephen Crane was deeply instilled with religious dogmas. However, fear of retribution soon turned to cynicism and criticism of his idealistic parents’ God, "the wrathful Jehovah of the Old Testament" (Stallman 16), as he was confronted with the harsh realities of war as a journalistic correspondent.... [tags: essays research papers]
795 words (2.3 pages)
- The Red Badge of Courage and The Blue Hotel: The Singular Love of Stephen Crane Stephen Crane firmly cemented himself in the canon of American Romanticism with the success of works such as The Red Badge of Courage and "The Blue Hotel." His writing served to probe the fundamental depths of the genre while enumerating on the themes vital to the movement's aesthetic. Such topics as heartfelt reverence for the beauty and ferocity of nature, the general exaltation of emotion over reason and senses over intellect, self-examination of personality and its moods and mental possibilities, a preoccupation with genius and the heroic archetype in general, a focus on passions and inner... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
576 words (1.6 pages)
- The poem “War is Kind” by Stephen Crane gives light to the women who are affected by the men that are in the military. By stating “war is kind” is really the exact opposite because war is not kind, it is gruesome, horrific, and deadly. How it shows irony by insinuating that war is a pleasant thing but then talking death and pain. The language brings attention and glorifies the symbolism behind war. It gives imagery by giving you a picture of the actions that are being brought out in each stanza.... [tags: Death, Poetry, Stephen Crane]
1137 words (3.2 pages)
- 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]
776 words (2.2 pages)