The Open Boat

269 Words2 Pages
Naturalism in Stephen crane’s “The Open Boat” Stephen Crane's short story "The Open Boat" is a good example of a story using a classical definition of literary naturalism. His story contains multiple situations and examples where nature is expressed as being uncaring, where it seems there is no order in the universe, where man looks for order and signs in nature, and where it seems that man has no purpose in nature. Crane makes convincingly real to us just how precarious and tentative man's hold upon life actually is. What wastes away in the course of events is the unexamining man's sense of his own self-assurance, comfort, and safety. "Even as on an immense, raging sea, assailed by huge wave crests, a man sits in a little rowboat trusting his frail craft, so, amidst the furious torments of this world, the individual sits calmly supported by the principium individuationis and relying on it" (Crane 246). Crane portrays nature as uncaring in his descriptions of the unforgiving and relentless sea. He states at one point in his story that, "A singular disadvantage of the sea lies in the fact that after successfully surmounting one wave you discover that there is another behind it just as important and just as nervously anxious to do something effective in the way of swamping boats" (Crane 284). Despite the fact that the men in the lifeboat are tired and that their death seems imminent, if the sea does not let up, the sea continues on in wave after wave of relentless fatigue. Nature, in this case the sea, is portrayed as
Open Document