Most people will kill an ant any chance they can. People do not care too much about the ant's life or feelings; all they know is that ants are tiny little creatures that are not important to mankind. The people are much larger than the ant and are not concerned with its well being. In The Open Boat by Stephen Crane, the universe is so much larger than man, that it is not concerned with him.
The first example of the universe's lack of concern for man is the power of the ocean against the small, helpless dinghy. The universe is represented by the ocean and man is represented by the boat. The boat is so small compared to the ocean which throws the boat around with no problem. It is the same way with man. Man is such a small part of the universe that the universe could care less about man. The universe existed without man at one point in time and could do it again with no problem. Man is not important to the universe.
The second example of the universe's lack of concern for man is the shark that swims around the crew without even noticing them. Sharks are some of the most ferocious animals. Many people have been killed or maimed by sharks because the shark was hungry. Sharks will generally jump at the chance to attack man. That is why the shark not noticing the boat and the crew is significant. It shows that even the shark does not care about man. A shark, which generally eats man whole, does not notice the men. This shows how unimportant man is to the universe that the sharks will not even eat him.
The last example of the universe's lack of concern for man is the birds that fly around the crew. The crew is struggling for survival in their tiny boat being bombarded by the power of the ocean and ignored by the monsters of the sea. And then on top of it all, the birds fly around as if nothing is going on. Even the birds have it better than the crew at this point. The powers of the universe do not even...