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The Open Boat

The Open Boat research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?

Stephen Crane’s short story “The Open Boat”, is a story about four men stranded in the ocean on a small boat.  Crane’s writing is the archetype of realism as evident in his descriptions in the opening scenes of the seas and the situation around the boat.  Often considered the father of literary realism, Crane’s offerings of a realistic atmosphere overwhelm the reader with a feeling of being stranded with these men.

The Open Boat

Crane does not just stop at realism, he also develops a quality of naturalism, especially in his writing of “The Open Boat”.  Right away, the reader senses nature’s disregard for the men that are forsaken in the ocean.  This builds an antagonism between the men and the sea as recounted by the nature around them,  “The birds sat comfortably in groups, and they were envied by some in the dingey, for the wrath of the sea was no more to them than it was to a covey of prairie chickens a thousand miles inland.”  The reader knows, as does the stranded men, that nature continues regardless of their fate.

The natural workings of the environment around them suddenly take on a hostile presence to these men after several days.  Crane is a master at this visualization and yet the reader knows that it is truly nothing more than the nature of things.  It is just there demented perception of a universe that is no longer what they used to know. 

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