Microcosm In An Open Boat

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When we live our lives, we never know who we truly are until a tragic event has over taken us tragically. In the story “An Open Boat,” by Stephen Crane, a group of men survive a shipwreck and battle the waves in hopes of landing safely on the shore. Throughout the story, the group of men figure out who they truly are, and through there struggle, they develop a microcosm of society. This microcosm and how it formed among the group of men can be easily broken down by the moral development scale that was created by Lawrence Kohlberg which identifies people in a society as one of three different types of thinkers. Therefore, the microcosm of society has developed among the men since the Captain is a pre-conventional thinker, the oiler and the…show more content…
The Cook and the Oiler are known as convention thinkers according to the moral development scale which consists of the vast majority of society. Now, a conventional thinker is a person who is is pleased to help others and is concerned with the maintenance of a good and healthy relationship with others. Additionally, they are also seen as the followers of a group who need to be dependent on a person or culture and use cultural relativism, people that say that their society claims an actions to be deemed correct, to define their actions (Boss, 92). Breaking this down, the Oiler is a conventional thinker since he is the good person he wants to go out of his way to make other happy. In the story, he would often try to conform with others and make sure they were fine by either sleeping in a certain way so the other person does not feel unconformable or by rowing for a longer period of time so that people could rest. Therefore, under the moral development scale, he is label as a conventional thinker. Similarly, the Cook is also a conventional thinker since he is the follower of the Captain. The Cook tries to make sure that the other men are abiding by the captains rules and is making sure that the other men know where they belong in the microcosm of society they formed. Since he is respecting authority and also follows the leader by justify his actions on cultural relativism, he is then considered to be a conventional thinker. Being a conventional thinker is not at all a bad thing, but my questioning the actions of others and understanding the events around you will then push you up the moral development

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