The Personal Experiences of Stephen Crane in the Book, The Open Boat

The Open Boat is a very raw and vivid story based on Stephen Crane’s personal experience of which is believed to be very similar. Perhaps this is why it is written so well, because this is something from his heart, something that he knows first-hand One of the labels that coins this work is the term naturalism; and with good reason as naturalism is used to describe an accurate depiction of reality Most believe that the Open Boat is just that, hence why the label follows this work From the very beginning, Stephen Crane is able to put you right in the seat of that dinghy with his relatable description of the dinghy saying, “a seat in his boat was not like a seat upon a buckling broncho, and, by the same token, a broncho was not much smaller” This depiction puts the reader right in the open boat and enables their ability to fully grasp the situation.

Towards the end of the boat’s life, the men start to panic as they can foresee their future death, they know the boat will not last much longer, and can‘t understand why they could come so close only to not make it.

Their thought processes are extremely clear from the quote, “when it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him, he at first wishes to throw bricks at the temple, and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples Any visible expression of nature would surely be pelleted with his jeers.

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” Although they finally come to a point where that can see land, the waves, and the water become too strong for the dinghy to stay afloat. They come to the conclusion that their only hope is to swim the rest of the way Somehow, the men were finally able to hit land despite the vicious sea where they were greeted by a swarm of people to help them recover from such a nightmare. The Open Boat is a story of a true miracle.

The story follows four men who are stranded in a small dinghy after their ship sinks. The men are based on Crane and his fellow survivors, who spent over 30 hours in the dinghy before being rescued. The men in the story struggle to survive in the open sea, facing harsh weather conditions, hunger, and exhaustion. Crane’s personal experiences are reflected in the vivid descriptions of the physical and emotional challenges faced by the characters. For example, the story describes how the men struggle to keep their balance in the choppy waves, how they try to keep warm by huddling together, and how they are constantly vigilant for any signs of rescue.

Crane also explores the psychological toll of the experience, particularly the sense of isolation and helplessness that the men feel. This is reflected in the line, “The men in the dinghy had not discussed these matters, but each had, no doubt, reflected upon them in silence and according to his mind.” Overall, “The Open Boat” reflects Crane’s own personal experiences of surviving a shipwreck and the physical and emotional challenges that he faced. The story provides a powerful insight into the human experience of surviving in the face of extreme adversity and is considered a classic example of naturalist literature.

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The Personal Experiences of Stephen Crane in the Book, The Open Boat. (2023, May 14). Retrieved from

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