Comparing The Red Badge Of Courage And The Open Boat By Stephen Crane

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In the second half of the nineteenth century, realism became the dominant style of writing in the United States of America. Realist authors observe the world and write their stories as it would happen in reality. Realism focuses in on detail and write as if it is a report on events, not a commentary. Realist do not focus on emotion but rather reactions of the characters in the story. (Rahn) Authors, such as Stephen Crane, wrote the stories about the characters and their reactions rather than based on plot. He relied on strong characters rather than a strong plot to carry his story forward. Stephen Crane was one of the most popular realist writers of the nineteenth century. He wrote the novels Maggie, a Girl of the Streets: a Story of New York, The Red Badge of Courage, and The Open Boat. Stephen Crane…show more content…
The short story that he wrote in 1898, The Open Boat, was based off of the time he attempted to sail to Cuba to be a war correspondent for a rebellion that had started there, Crane decided to attempt being a war correspondent after his success of The Red Badge of Courage. He wanted to determine if his portrayal of the psychological effects of war were accurate. He also sought to perfect his war story writing. On his way to Cuba, his boat sank and he, along with others, were set adrift at sea for several days. Crane wrote his popular short story The Open Boat based on these experiences. This tale is heavily based on this episode in Crane’s life. Four men stranded on a lifeboat who debate about their chances of survival and discuss the issue of fate. In this story, Crane challenges the reader to think about how one would act in a similar situation. Critics all loved this tale. Even H. G. Wells considered this story to be "beyond all question, the crown of all work". The Open Boat remains to be one of Frank Norris’s most popular stories along with The Red Badge of Courage. ("Stephen Townley

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