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( 2000, 28 (˝ „œ

»Æ § ¿˘

) ¡¡ ¡¡

Jou rnal of L anzhou U n iv.

( Social Sciences)

) ˛˜ § ¤ …› : 67¡“ 69¡¡ ¡¡ ¡¡ ¡¡

. V o l 28 Supp lem en t 2000 P67- 69

¡¡ ¡¡

O n the T hem e of T he O p en B oa t
L u Yao zho ng
(D ep a rtm en t of B a sic Cou rses, L anzhou R a ilw ay In stitu te, L anzhou, 730070, Ch ina )

Abstract¡¡ T he O p en B oa t is one of the best rea listic sto ries w ritten by step hen crane, an ea rly Am erican na tu ra list w rites. A t dram a tica lly p resnets the sub tle, delica te rela tion betw een m an and na tu re, craneπ idea s of the essence of m an and na tu re a re revelaed tho rugh h is ana lysis of the s situa tion and exp erience of the p ro tagon ist. Key words¡¡ Step hen crane¡¡ T he O p en B oa t ¡¡ na tu re CLC Num ber¡¡ I10614

. Step hen C rane rem a in s the m o st in teresting Am erican w riter of the 1890’s H is w o rk is of la sting va lue. T he O p en B oa t (p ub lished in J une 1898) , con sidered h is best sto ry, is ba sed on an exp erience he had w hen a

boa t he w a s on sh ipw recked en rou te to Cuba. C rane w a s one of on ly th ree su rvivo rs.

A s M a rston L afrance says, C rane studen ts genera lly agree tha t T he O p en B oa t is¡ the crow n of a ll h is , w o rk s ¡– the one sto ry w h ich¡ w ou ld, even if he had w ritten no th ing else, have p laced h i w here he now m . undoub tedly stands¡– C rane believes tha t true a rt shou ld derive from the a rtist’s ow n exp erience. In th is sho rt sto ry, C rane, w ith h is direct exp erience in the sea, unfo lds h is idea s abou t individua l ep istem o logy and h is in terp reta tion of life, disp laying the rela tion betw een m an and na tu re, even the rela tion betw een m an and society. T h is accoun t is C rane’s decla ra tion: na tu re is indifferen t to m an; life is a ba ttle. M an shou ld face rea lity . and struggle fo r h is su rviva l H e believes tha t know ledge com es from exp erience. Donna Gerstenbeger concludes tha t the ta le ¡ m ay be best view ed a s a sto ry w ith an ep istem o logica l em p ha sis, one w h ich con stan tly rem inds its reader of the i po ssib ility of m an’s know ing anyth ing, even tha t w h ich he m exp eriences ¡– (M etress). H er conclu sion is fu rther develop ed by T hom a s L. Ken t: O n bo th na rra tive and ex tra- tex tua l levels, the sub ject of T he O p en B oa t is ep istem o logy, and the tex t suggests tha t m ean ing in the un iverse is seconda ry to m an’s ab ility to p erceive it. , O p en ing w ith¡ N one of them knew the co lo r of the sky¡–and¡ a ll of them knew the co lo rs of sea¡– the w rongfu lly and ba rba rou sly ab rup t and ta ll¡–w aves, the su rvivo rs get to know the p a tho s of their situa tion. . sto ry disp lays a p ictu re of the sea and the su rvivo rs squa tting in ¡ a ten 2foo t dinghy ¡– R iding on ¡ m o st

T hey after the sh ipw reck badly need to know how to su rvive in the sea. Seeing the w aves com ing one by one , in silence a re¡ nervou sly anx iou s to do som eth ing effective in the w ay of sw am p ing boa ts¡– and the craft’s , p rancing and rea ring and p lunging like¡ an an i a l¡– the su rvivo rs, like everym an , exp erience tha t the sea is m

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th rea ten ing to them , and they no t on ly w ish tha t o ther p eop le w ou ld app ea r to save them , bu t a lso keep an illu sion tha t they can ob ta in the m ercy of na tu ra l th ings- w ind and sea a s w ell a s God. though ts: they see na tu re first a s m a levo len tly ho stile , then a s though tlessly ho stile and fina ll a s w ho lly . indifferen t¡› ¡– In th is sto ry, the su rvivo rs app ea r a s Everym an. T hey know the sign ificance of the sea and w ish tha t it L afrance describes ¡ a slow ly changing th ree 2fo ld view of na tu re w h ich is revea led in the cha racters’ It , keep ing indifferen t to them , never stop s go ing its ow n w ay, and even becom es m o re and m o re Som eti es it b low s on sho re and som eti es...
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