The Open Boat

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Thank Mother Nature Sometimes, humanity tends to see itself as being important in the grand scheme of the universe. However, humanity seldom takes into account that Mother Nature can turn man?s life around in the blink of an eye. No matter how hard man tries to get away from Mother Nature, he will never succeed. Mother Nature has always been around and will always be here. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how nature can control man in Stephen Crane?s short story ?The Open Boat.? This story is about four men that are known simply as the captain, the oiler, the correspondent, and the cook. These four men are on a boat called the Commodore with some other people. The first line of the story states that the sky was a color that none of the men knew (Crane 453). This sets a mysterious setting right in the first sentence.

Crane goes on the say that the waves were foaming white and were the hue of slate (Crane 453). These characteristics of the weather can represent Mother Nature when she first starts to show her face to the men. This is telling the reader that a mighty storm is approaching the Commodore. Mother Nature is coming after the men in the Commodore. Soon, a great wave crashes into the Commodore causing its sinking. The great wave represents Mother Nature when she has reached the four men. The four men are the only survivors. They manage to climb aboard a very small lifeboat, but the captain is injured (Crane 453-454). Already, Crane has given an example of how nature can change a man?s life in the blink of an eye.

This was the first encounter the men have with nature in the story. It is a very...