The Open Boat: A Response
Throughout the 1800’s, transportation seemed more feasible upon water, as opposed to having to make an attempt by traveling on dry land. The Open Boat, as written by Stephen Crane, gives us the story of a group of men who are set to embark on a journey through the treacherous waters which are in their path. It was during this era that the idea of motored vehicles had never even been mentioned, and the idea of flight by humans was unfathomable. Although the train had been developed at this point in time, transportation through water was just a concept that everyone felt was much more adequate. It is in Crane’s novel that we can envision some of the tumultuous dangers that can occur when you least expect it, and how an individual can react to the current situation.
The story is drawn out to be an adventure between what starts off as a group of four men tackling the five oceans, and what later becomes a battle for survival as these men become true comrades. These men must not only work together to arrive at their final destination, but to legitimately stay alive. “It was more than a mere recognition of what was best for the common safety. There was surely it in a quality that was personal and heartfelt.” (Crane, pg. 1004)It didn’t have to be said aloud. It was a mutual feeling that every individual aboard the small raft felt, but instead preferred to keep it to themselves in order to not bring any disturbance to the concentration that they were putting into this voyage. The captain was treated with the utmost respect due to his position, but he never made it a fact to display his superiority above his companions.
We are able to see how Crane displays imagery throughout his story just by the opening line. He gives a description of the characters, and their knowledge of what was happening around them in accordance with the ocean. “None of them knew the colour of the sky.” (Crane, pg.1000) They were so...
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