As human beings we have find ourselves continuously showing arrogance and ignorance towards our surrounding and environment. As described in “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane and “To Build a Fire” byJack London nature picks no side, holds no opinion, and does not show favoritism towards man. We find in both stories the characters as if where being prosecuted by nature, as if out of vengeance forjust being in the circumstances they find their selves in. It is demonstrated that human beings does not have a free will and that is impossible to control the force of Nature. In both stories manare stuck in the forces of nature. It is clear that two stories are examples of man’s struggle versus nature’s forces. The concept in both stories is Naturalism. The literary critic from the WashingtonState University Donna Campbell defines Naturalism as the type of literature that attempts to apply the scientific principles of objectivity and detachment to its study of the human beings. Fornaturalistic writers like Crane’s and London’s, since human beings are in Emile Zola’s phrase, “human beast”, “characters can be studied through their relationships to their surroundings”
In StephenCrane’s “The Open Boat”, its tells about four men survivors of a shipwreck: the cook, overweight and sloppily dress, who is bailing water out of the bottom of a ten foot dinghy; the oiler, a physicallypowerful man named Billy who is rowing with one oar; the unnamed correspondent; who is rowing with the other oar; and the captain, who lies injured in the bottom of the boat. The crew find themselvessurviving the disaster only to fight the waves in an effort to survive. As shipman they respect and know of the danger that they can face at sea. Unlike in Jack’s London “To Build a Fire” where thecharacter is a new comer that is traveling along in weather well below zero degrees who ignores numerous warning given to him by his elders and people who know the land and the weather. Even he ignores...
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