Open Boat Essay

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In Stephan Crane's short story "The Open Boat," one of the many themes that can be pulled out is that of community. He stresses the importance of the each individual's role in the group setting. Crane uses a life and death situation in which men must depend on one another and establishes that without group cohesion and unity they will not make it out alive. He shows the group being given false hopes from outside powers but, how in the end the group must unite together for survival and not rely on anything but themselves. Throughout the story, paralleling an actually event in his life Crane accentuates the intimacy and thought process of the four men as opposed to an epic story. By letting the reader see what each individual character is feeling, the sense of needing a community can be understood as a necessity.
Stephan Crane lived a short life but managed to produce wonderful works of literature. Crane's use of the community theme can easily be linked to his own personal experiences. He was born in Newark New Jersey in 1871 as the 14th child of a Methodist minister. His father passed away when Crane was a young child. After attending only two years of college he lived in a medical boarding house in New York City. There he started his freelance writing. In 1893 he published his first book, Maggie, Girl of the Streets. Other notable works he   had were the Red Badge of Courage and The Black Rider, along with many others. In 1879 Crane attempted to do journalistic reporting on the insurrection of Cuba. On his voyage the ship the Commodore sank leaving him to float to safety in a lifeboat. It is from this experience that he learned the importance of comradery. He was thrown into a real life situation in which without the group or community working together none would have survived. By using his personal life experience he created “The Open Boat”.

The story is comprised of the following characters, the captain, the correspondent, the cook, and the Oiler, bailing...

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