Naturalism presented in the open boat

Igor Linhart Igor Linhart The role of nature in Stephen Crane's The Open Boat and Kate Chopin's The Storm In this essay I mainly want to focus on the role of nature in the stories and features of naturalism and in some case realism in them and the effect which nature has on the actions of the characters. Before we can compare the role of nature in the stories we have to make clear what we mean by that word nature.

Naturalism presented in the open boat

The narrator highlights this development by changing the way he describes the sea. Crane strengthens the idea that nature is indifferent to man by showing that it is as randomly helpful as it is hurtful. For every malevolent whim that the men suffer, they experience an unexpected good turn in the form of a favorable wind or calm night.

The fact that the men almost seem to get assistance from nature destroys the notion of nature as an entirely hostile force. This freak wave, however, may also be responsible for killing the much hardier oiler, a turn of events that demonstrates two ideas: They have an egotistical belief that they should have a role in the universe, that their existence should mean something.

When the correspondent realizes by section VI that fate will not answer his pleas, he settles into despair.

His subsequent recollection of the poem about the soldier who lies dying in Algiers reflects his feelings of alienation at being displaced from his position in the universe.

Naturalism presented in the open boat

Like the soldier who dies in alien territory, the correspondent fears that he too will perish without a connection to whatever gives him his sense of self. He comes to value his suffering because it is nobly derived; in the earlier sections, the correspondent, whom the narrator says is cynical, is often cheerful and talkative in his descriptions of the physical pain he experiences.

SparkNotes: The Open Boat: Themes

He decides that there is no higher purpose to surviving other than prolonging a life that is meaningless. At this point, all sensations of pain and pleasure are merely physical and have no spiritual meaning. When faced with the savage, stormy sea, the men in the dinghy immediately band together because they recognize that society is the best defense against the chaos of nature.

The men derive meaning from their fellowship, created to oppose nature, which they view as the force that seeks to undo them. Even when they become disheartened by the fact that nature shows no regard for them, they can still turn to one another.

In creating society, they have created an obligation to one another that they must honor to survive.

Expert Answers

Although they are shut out of the realm of cosmic importance, these men nevertheless construct something that is meaningful to them.In his short story, "The Open Boat," Stephen Crane shows us a Universe totally unconcerned with the affairs of humankind; it is an indifferent Universe in which Man has to struggle to survive.

The characters in the story come face to face with this indifference and are nearly overcome by Nature's lack of concern. “The Open Boat” conveys a feeling of loneliness that comes from man’s understanding that he is alone in the universe and insignificant in its workings. Underneath the men’s and narrator’s collective rants at fate and the universe is the fear of nothingness.

Stephen Crane's The Open Boat and Jack London's To Build A Fire Stephen Crane’s short story, “The Open Boat” speaks directly to Jack London’s own story, “To Build A Fire” in their applications of naturalism and views on humanity. The Open Boat: Crane's View of Naturalism Essay Words | 5 Pages.

his short story "The Open Boat" Stephen Crane shows a universe that is unconcerned with the struggles of four men within a small boat lost at sea. On American Naturalism and Stephen Crane’s ‘The Open Boat’ Crane’s “The Open Boat” is a perfect piece to examine the naturalistic mode of writing.

Naturalism presented in the open boat

It contains elements that include a pessimistic tone and external forces that are indifferent to the characters in the story. Stephen Crane's The Open Boat and Jack London's To Build A Fire Stephen Crane’s short story, “The Open Boat” speaks directly to Jack London’s own story, “To Build A Fire” in their applications of naturalism and views on humanity.

What quotes show a Naturalist theme in "The Open Boat"? | eNotes