Stephen Crane 's The Open Boat

1456 WordsNov 4, 20156 Pages
What is the meaning of life? This probing question is often debated by human beings, and people from all recesses of the world will answer this question differently. However, not a single individual has presented an answer to this question that the world universally accepts. Different factions of people adhere to different answers. Often times, individuals will follow religions or philosophies because its beliefs provide answers to the question. More recently, in the middle Nineteenth Century to early Twentieth Century, this very question confused the brilliant writers of what is known as the “Realism Era” of literature. Their desired effect in writing was to present “a slice of life” which would explain part of the meaning of life, specifically life of a common individual. More specifically, Naturalism, which stemmed off from Realism, desired to present life as an implacable working out of natural forces beyond humankind’s control. One example of literature from the Realism time period is Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat.” This sensible short story presents several ideas that regard humankind and nature specially bonded through a diverse set of themes. In his short story “The Open Boat,” Stephen Crane’s expressions of Naturalistic and Realistic views of humankind’s relationship with nature is highlighted through three preeminent themes: indifference, insignificance, and incessancy. First, the indifference of nature evidently illustrates its relation to humankind. In “The Open

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