The Open Boat Essay

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Open Boat Symbolism allows writers to suggest their ideas within a piece of literature. This is found in most types of writing. Stephen Crane expresses this in his short story, The Open Boat. Through symbolism and allegory, it is demonstrated that humans live in a universe that is unconcerned with them. The characters in the story come face to face with this indifference and are nearly overcome by Nature’s lack of concern. This is established in the opening scenes, the “seven mad gods” and in the realization of the dying soldier. The descriptions that Crane uses in the opening scenes illustrate nature’s lack of concern for their tragedy. He discusses the waves in the ocean that continually roll and crest. The waves are problems or…show more content…
There is also a shark that is “playing around” near the boat; curiously, it does not seem to even acknowledge their presence. The realization that they have no purpose brings them to the brink of despair. In the beginning of the story, the author describes the “dawn of seven turned faces.” These are faces of the “seven mad gods” who are apathetic towards the men; moreover, they are part of nature. Towards the end of the story, the correspondent recalls a childhood verse that helps him to understand nature’s indifference. Through their experience together, the four men realize that all they have is each other. The correspondent feels sympathy suddenly for a dying soldier, one who does not even exist, “The correspondent, …dreaming…was moved by a profound and perfectly impersonal comprehension. He was sorry for the soldier of the Legion who lay dying in Algiers.” Being in the current situation, the correspondent finally understands the tragedy of the dying soldier. He realizes what it is like to be alone in a cruel world and more importantly, he realizes he does not have to be alone. When he first heard the story, he was also indifferent towards the soldier, just as nature is indifferent towards the rest of the world. He now understands what it is to be human. Crane opens a view of reality that first seems bitter, but in the end, stands as

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