The Open Boat Analysis

1845 Words8 Pages
”The Open Boat” is the most frequently discussed work of American writer Stephen Crane, famous for his naturalistic writing in which human beings have no control on their lives. It is more than a narrative of adventure. In January 1897, the writer was shipwrecked and lost at sea for 30 hours. He and three other men were forced to row to shore on a ten-foot life boat. The short story was written several weeks after the harrowing accident. The setting is dark, enormous sea symbolizing nature. It is not an ordinary setting; rather very active in the lives of the characters and has contradictory qualities. It has seven sections and each section is told from the point of view of an anonymous correspondent. The first part introduces the four characters-the…show more content…
M. Synge’s well-known tragedy Riders to the Sea, the sea also plays a great role throughout the work as a background, as a living character, as a force of nature, as an agent of destiny. Like the sea of “The Open Boat” it is also dark, mysterious, and powerful. That is why the characters do not know its moods. It has been presented as both kind and cruel. It is kind as it provides livelihood to the inhabitants of the island. The men fish and the women collect sea weeds as fuel from it. The same sea also causes their tragedies by taking their lives and the people struggle for survival and submit hopelessly to the uncontrolled natural force, the sea. Thus it is also a giver and taker of…show more content…
The ocean symbolizes wilderness, paradoxicality and the shore is an epitome of calm. It is an object of profound mystery and is enriched with many symbols. It highlights nature’s paradoxical nature through ocean. It is the protagonist which shows its masculine heroism and has a direct impact on individual. At one point of time the distressed men on boat are deeply plagued by doubts and are left adrift at sea without anyone to comfort them during their bouts of fear. The correspondent loses hope and thinks it is “. . . really the intention of the seven mad gods to drown him” (VI: 5). All formulate their own opinions about nature and are disappointed when nobody responds to them. Even the best rower the oiler cannot protect
Open Document