Open Boat Analysis on naturalism
In this story, four men, known simply as the captain, the oiler, the correspondent, and the cook, become stranded in the sea in a small boat. Together they are forced to bare the torments of one of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges, the open sea. In this process these four men learn much about nature and just how little they are on Earth. One of the characters, the correspondent, comes to the realization that nature is indifferent despite the struggles of the individuals, “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…”. The captain, who is seen as a symbol of strength to the other men on the boat, has doubt as to whether they can make it to shore safely, “Then the captain, in the bow, chuckled in a way that expressed humor, contempt, tragedy, all in one. “Do you think we’ve got much of a show now, boys?” The men in the boat are still upset with what fate has dealt them and seem to have the same opinion that they are still in control of their outcome, “If I am going to be drowned----if I am going to be drowned—if I am going to be drowned, why, in the name of the seven mad gods who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees? Was I brought here merely to have my nose dragged away as I was about to nibble the sacred cheese of life?” The men are in a desperate situation, but nature continues to go on as if they were not there. This unsubstantial state is evident in the story when a shark swimming next to them doesn’t even take notice of their existence. All four men in the boat are searching for some sort of miracle to happen, but neither nature nor fate sends anything their way. All they have to comfort themselves is each other. Throughout the story the men in the boat are working together for a common purpose, to get to the shore. The correspondent remembers a verse about a soldier of the Legion dying...
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