Essay about Analysis of The Open Boat by Stephen Crane
1415 Words6 Pages
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. The correspondent: Also helps steer and row boat. Injured captain: gives commands to the crew as he lies against the water-jar speaking with a low and calm voice. Unnamed people on land: Coat…show more content…
After swearing into the sea the correspondent remembers a rhyme from his childhood that he once did not care about but now does. The captain awakes and the oiler and the correspondent switch spots. (7) The crew notices a village on the shore with a windmill. The men prepare to jump from the ship and swim ashore. The captain holds onto the boat afraid he will drown. A man appears on the beach naked and helps the men onto the shore. Everyone makes it except for Billie the oiler who is found face down in the sand dead.
Tone: Crane has the ability to create multiple tones all in one passage. The tone seems to be a tad dreary and tragic do to the fact that at any moment the men could all be drowned. Although, when there is dialogue there is more of a straight forward and comic tone that demonstrates the increasing friendship that is apparent to the reader, although the men refuse to mention it. This tone is important because, Crane makes his characters out to be helpless against the element of nature and it’s over bearing on them. Thus, this bond between the men is the only thing they have to overcome the environment.
Style: One thing that Crane has been known for is his use of imagery and similes in his writing. His use of Imagery and detail bring a repeating setting like the ocean, more to life. The reader is able to form a vivid picture in their mind with the Crane’s use of adjectives and
The Open Boat Essay
575 Words3 Pages
Symbolism allows writers to suggest their ideas within a piece of literature. This is found in most types of writing. Stephen Crane expresses this in his short story, The Open Boat. Through symbolism and allegory, it is demonstrated that humans live in a universe that is unconcerned with them. The characters in the story come face to face with this indifference and are nearly overcome by Nature’s lack of concern. This is established in the opening scenes, the “seven mad gods” and in the realization of the dying soldier. The descriptions that Crane uses in the opening scenes illustrate nature’s lack of concern for their tragedy. He discusses the waves in the ocean that continually roll and crest. The waves are problems or…show more content…
There is also a shark that is “playing around” near the boat; curiously, it does not seem to even acknowledge their presence. The realization that they have no purpose brings them to the brink of despair. In the beginning of the story, the author describes the “dawn of seven turned faces.” These are faces of the “seven mad gods” who are apathetic towards the men; moreover, they are part of nature. Towards the end of the story, the correspondent recalls a childhood verse that helps him to understand nature’s indifference. Through their experience together, the four men realize that all they have is each other. The correspondent feels sympathy suddenly for a dying soldier, one who does not even exist, “The correspondent, …dreaming…was moved by a profound and perfectly impersonal comprehension. He was sorry for the soldier of the Legion who lay dying in Algiers.” Being in the current situation, the correspondent finally understands the tragedy of the dying soldier. He realizes what it is like to be alone in a cruel world and more importantly, he realizes he does not have to be alone. When he first heard the story, he was also indifferent towards the soldier, just as nature is indifferent towards the rest of the world. He now understands what it is to be human. Crane opens a view of reality that first seems bitter, but in the end, stands as