The Open Boat

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A Voyage to Brotherhood-The Journey Made in Stephen Crane’s “Open Boat” “The Open Boat” is a fictional story based on a real-life experience of the writer, Stephen Crane. One of the most striking aspects of the story is the major theme of man’s brotherhood being the only defense to an indifferent nature. The steamship, The Commodore, on which Stephen Crane was a passenger, wrecked on its voyage to Cuba. In his fictional account of that experience Crane puts a correspondent on his way to Cuba, together with the ship’s captain, cook, and oiler as the four men in a small boat adrift off the coast of Florida in very turbulent, icy waters. Suddenly, there is no longer a chain of command among these men as they work with one another against the forces of nature in a battle for their lives. The correspondent and the oiler take turns rowing the boat and fighting against the huge waves to keep it aright. The cook bails out the cold Atlantic seawater from beneath the feet of the men rowing. The captain remains a calm commander of the tired crew as he lies injured in the bow. The team heads toward a small lighthouse, in hopes of being rescued. The crashing breaking waves convince the men that even though the shore is in sight, the boat will not make it so they turn back out to sea. Their morale is further trampled when they see people on the beach waving to them, but no one makes a move to help. By the second day they decide to push through the surf as far as they can and then abandon the boat and swim for shore. Before they could make a volunteer exit, a wave upends the boat and dumps them into the icy sea. The strongest man, the oiler, tried to swim ashore. Rescuers find him “face downward”(370) in the shallow water. In “The Open Boat” Crane clearly demonstrates that nature is totally indifferent to the predicament of these men, and to make it through the plight of

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