Naturalism in Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat”
1. What philosophical values, if any, are presented or advocated by Stephen Crane in the story? ** In Stephen Crane’s short story “The Open Boat” we are able to see the views of Crane concerning Naturalism. Throughout his story, Crane presents to us the idea that nature and the universe are both impassive and uncaring about humankind. An example of this idea would be when Crane states in the story: “When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him…Any visible expression of nature would surely be pelleted with his jeers.” He makes it clear that it is our own duty to survive and not depend on nature and/or the universe because both of them have “no sense of obligation” to us. He also makes the point that nature is unconquerable and the best thing to do is fight your way through it and not against it. Crane believed that continual pride and relying on each other could ultimately save us in the end.
2. How are heroism and courage defined in this story?
** I believe that Stephen Crane made it a point in his story not to play up the idea of heroism. As in “War is kind”, he criticizes the idea of a romantic hero because it is our duty to do whatever we need to in order to survive. On the other hand, I believed that Crane may have defined courage as being brave and having the guts to fight for survival.
3. Explain how the narrator’s concentration on his senses, such as seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, touching, smelling, create the feeling of immediacy in the story. ** If Crane had not concentrated on his senses such as seeing, hearing, feeling, etc… I do not believe that the story would have made as great of an impact. It was through his descriptions that I was able to imagine myself in the setting. I felt as if I were there because of the vivid descriptions and concentration on senses. An...
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