Stephen Crane's The Open Boat

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How important is the setting of a story? Most readers neglect or do not pay attention to the setting, while authors focus more on creating characters and plotting the story. Some stories do not even have a specific setting. It is a critical mistake because being aware of how setting affects the characters and plot of a story helps the reader to understand a text better. The setting can set the mood, theme and can add a deeper meaning to a story. “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane is a short story about four men who just survived from a sinking ship. The men are now stranded on a boat trying to get ashore. On the boat was a cook, an oiler named Billie, a correspondent, and an injured captain. The setting is set somewhere off the coast of Florida. The setting of “The Open Boat” demonstrates how people learn to adapt to survive and forget their differences in face of disaster. Being on a tiny boat challenges the four men to adapt. The boat in the story is described as a “ten-foot dinghy” (Crane 247). Having four men on a small boat is no joke. The four men must communicate and work together to prevent the boat from sinking. The oiler and the correspondent helped each other by taking turns in rowing the boat. “The plan of the oiler and the correspondent was for one to row until he lost the ability.” (Crane 257). The cook was unable to help in rowing but he did not just sat at the bottom of…show more content…
Crane describes their situation as "By the last star of truth, it is easier to steal eggs from under a hen than it was to change seats in a dinghy. It was all done with the most extraordinary care" (249). All men must agree to help each other to accomplish a complicated move. It requires alertness and communication while exchanging rowing positions. The men have to break out of their shell and trust each other. They also realize that they cannot be selfish and have to look out for each
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