Examples Of Togetherness In The Open Boat

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University of Groningen Togetherness in the Struggle Against Nature’s Indifference to the Fate of Men Renée Langenhuijsen S2776960 LEV009P10.2014-2015.1: 2014-2015 English Proficiency 1, Major (B2/C1) Group 4 Samuel van Kiel 17 October 2014 Togetherness in the Struggle Against Nature’s Indifference to the Fate of Men Throughout history, many men have perished at sea. Nevertheless, even though aware of the fact that they might be no match against the force of nature, this has never stopped men from continuously struggling for their survival. In ‘The Open Boat’ by Stephen Crane, four men lost at sea discover not only that nature is indifferent to the fate of men as opposed to the idea that nature is a hostile force whose…show more content…
Here, the word ‘barbarous’ is used to illustrate the sheer force of nature and its hostility. This forms a contrast with the tone used to describe the waves towards the end of the story, when the narrator states that “the white waves paced to and fro in the moonlight” (Crane 355). This sentence illustrates the sea as calm and peaceful, as opposed to the hostility of the sea in earlier chapters. The sea itself is unable to change, for it has no conscience. Instead, it is the perception of the men lost at sea that has changed. The thoughts of the correspondent when regarding the tower also shows this change in perspective, as “it (the tower) represented in a degree, to the correspondent, the serenity of nature amid the struggles of the individual – nature in the wind, and nature in the vision of men. She (nature) did not seem cruel to him, nor beneficent, nor treacherous, nor wise. But she was indifferent, flatly indifferent “ (Crane 352). This scene forms the turning-point in the story, as it shows the exact moment in which the way nature is perceived changes. Another way…show more content…
The physical aspect of their bond involves working together as a team, dividing the labour according to their abilities. An example of how this teamwork is realised is the way the oiler and the correspondent, both physically strong and therefore in charge of the rowing, handle their task. They lighten the burden of the rowing by alternating between who holds the oars. Whenever one of them is tired, he asks the other to spell him. When someone is so dependent on another human being, consequently a deeper, emotional bond will form itself as well. The captain contemplates the brotherhood they have formed as a genuine friendship, stating that “it was more than a mere recognition of what was best for the common safety. There was surely in it a quality that was personal and heartfelt (Crane 342). The importance of this emotional comradeship lies in the fact that, when in a dire situation, human beings tend to fall into despair when left alone with their own thoughts. In their current situation, the men cannot permit themselves to have their minds affected by these negative emotions, for it will form a hindrance to their survival. This is why the men seek comfort in the company of the others. For example, when the correspondent first spots the shark in the water, it is night and all of the other occupants of the

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