Naural forces in the open boat by stephen crane

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  • Publicado : 30 de abril de 2010
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Natural Forces on The Open Boat by Stephen Crane

“The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane depicts a story of four men on a small boat that get involved in a struggle for their own lives. Nature becomes anantagonist force and, therefore, they have to confront different natural forces in order to survive.
One of the main natural forces that the characters struggle against throughout the whole story isthe sea and its waves. After the ship wreck, the four men – the oiler, the captain, the correspondent, and the cook, see themselves involved in the violent movement of the sea: “the horizon narrowedand widened, and dipped and rose, and at all times its edge was jagged with waves that seemed thrust up in points like rocks.” As their lives now depend upon the sea and their ability to fight againstit, it becomes their main concern: “their eyes glanced level, and were fastened upon the waves that swept toward them.” The waves turn into their main impediment to get ashore “the crest of each ofthese waves was a hill, from the top of which the men survived”, but only for a moment, because “after successfully surmounting one wave, they discovered that there was another behind it just asimportant and just as nearly anxious to do something effective in the way of the swamping boat.” The sea is out of control and the waves seem like “horses making at a fence outrageously high.” Thus, alltheir attention is placed on the wrath of the sea and the way of escaping the danger of the sea. Their worry is so deep that even “the process of braking day was unknown to them… they were aware only ofthis effect upon the color of the waves that rolled toward them.”
Another natural force against which the men in the “open boat” have to struggle against is the wind. In the story, it is the windthat makes the water rise to form waves, and it is the wind that makes their difficult situation even worse. However, it is also the wind –“an on-shore wind”- that takes the men to a shorter...