The Open Boat

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What is the meaning of life? This very question is often debated by many human beings, and people from all recesses of the world will answer this question differently. Individuals will answer in terms of what philosophy or religion they adhere to. This very question confused the brilliant writers of the Realism era of literature. Their desired effect in writing was to present “a slice of life” which would explain parts of the meaning of life. More specifically, Naturalism, which stemmed off from Realism, desired to present life as a relentless 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 riveting short story presents several ideas …show more content…

It represented in a degree, to the correspondent, the serenity of nature amid the struggles of the individual -- nature in the wind, and nature in the vision of men. She did not seem cruel to him, nor beneficent, nor treacherous, nor wise. But she was indifferent, flatly indifferent.

The correspondent’s examination of the tower’s back being to the crew creates a sense that it is unwilling to help the afflicted crew. This assertion is complementary to that of nature’s attitude: disinterest in humankind’s obstacles and unwillingness to help during humankind’s adversity. In addition, nature’s indifference is characterized by a disinterest in humankind’s presence. This idea is exemplified through the scene in which a group of bird’s miffs the crew. The narrator describes the indifferent attitude of an individual and noticeable bird by describing that “one came, and evidently decided to alight on the top of the captain 's head. The bird flew parallel to the boat and did not circle, but made short sidelong jumps in the air in chicken-fashion.” The burdensome bird in this scene feasibly represents nature in the fact that both are indifferent to mankind’s presence. Without processing the possible repercussions of being around the crew, the bird decides to sit on top of the captain’s head and fly parallel to the boat, as if it did not exist. Nature acts similarly in this

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