Essay on The Open Boat

Submitted By Vincent-Guzman
Words: 1055
Pages: 5

The Open Boat
By, Stephen Crane The Open boat is a short story written and published in 1897. It was written by Stephen Crane, detailing his thirty hour experience stranded in the ocean, after the SS Commodore sank. Stephen at the time was a newspaper correspondent and was on his way to Cuba for a job. Crane along with three others survive the ship wreck after they boarded a small boat once they knew the Commodore was going down. Shortly after his rescue Stephen created a short story which he narrates his personal account. The story is soon published by Scribner’s Magazine. He receives praise in America and England for his Literary Naturalism provided in the story. Throughout Crane’s career as an author and in the present day, the Open Boat is opinioned by most cridects to be his best work as an author.

The major thyme in this short story is ‘’Man vs Nature’’. Crane gives an indebt detailed account of what he and three other men experienced against the raging sea. One example to show this conflict, is that from the start of the story Crane gives a description of how much visibility there is to navigate he writes ‘’ These waves were of the hue of slate, save for the tops, which were of foaming white, and all of the men knew the colors of the sea’’. Giving readers an image that for miles nothing, other than waves of water could be seen. Making it just about impossible, to direct in those conditions.

Though navigation had a points seemed all but hopeless, Crane tells of how the men improvised a strategy to direct themselves threw the heartless sea he writes ‘’As the boat bounced from the top of each wave, the wind tore through the hair of the hatless men, and as the craft plopped her stern down again the spray splashed past them. The crest of each of these waves was a hill, from the top of which the men surveyed, for a moment’’. Which lead to them having a brief glimps of where they were and where to go.

Another problem that arises from the situation the men are in is that they start to argue and bicker with one another. Crane in his story talks of a minor disagreement between his self and the cook in which he writes the cook as saying "There's a house of refuge just north of the Mosquito Inlet Light, and as soon as they see us, they'll come off in their boat and pick us up." Crane responds to this by stating "Houses of refuge don't have crews," said the correspondent. "As I understand them, they are only places where clothes and grub are stored for the benefit of shipwrecked people. They don't carry crews." Which leads to an argument between the cook and Crane. Showing that the stress levels were high and everyone was growing impatient with each other.

The men eventualy see land at a distance, they all come to the realization they will have to find courage to swim to shore. Which will be difficult because they are completely drained of all their energy consequences of the ordeal against the trechurous sea. They must find courage in their hopeless minds to overcome what they feel is their final moments alive. Crane continue’s to write, Well," said the captain, ultimately, "I suppose we'll have to make a try for ourselves. If we stay out here too long, we'll none of us have strength left to swim after the boat swamps." The overall tole this journey had on them physically was unimaginable. With all the stirring and trying to control the boat with their weight so it would not tip, the men were exhausted.

Even with numerous problems and trials the men were faced with it continued to get worst. Crane writes, ‘’Suddenly there was another swish and another long flash of bluish light, and this time it was alongside the boat, and might almost have been reached with