Questions and Answers for The Open Boat

The Open Boat

What are the conflicts and climax of "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane?

In Stephen Crane's "Open Boat," there is in the correspondent and the others who are shipwrecked an antithesis of feelings that parallels the rise and fall of the waves as the men "watched the...

Latest answer posted May 31, 2012 4:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

Why does Crane repeat "If I am going to be drowned" three times in "The Open Boat"?

Let us remember that Crane in this short story focuses on Naturalism and the conflict of man vs. nature. Crane was writing at a time when scientific advances gave the impression that man could...

Latest answer posted June 9, 2011 5:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What point of view does Crane use in "The Open Boat," is it first or third person?

The point of view in which Crane writes is third-person limited omniscient. A third-person point of view specifies an external narrator who is witnessing the story as though from afar, either at...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2011 10:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What do the wave, boat, sea, and shark symbolize in "The Open Boat"?

"The Open Boat" is written by Naturalism author Stephen Crane, and the story is a great example of what Naturalism adheres to. Simply put, Naturalism paints nature and the universe as completely...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2019 9:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Open Boat

How does the use of color imagery in "The Open Boat" enhance the reader's understanding of the story itself?

Perhaps the lack of color is more significant than color itself in this Naturalistic story of Crane's. For, the first line of "The Open Boat" suggests the uninvolvement of Nature in the lives of...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2009 3:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What are some examples of Naturalism in Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat"?

The prevailing ideas in Naturalism include a belief that human beings are natural creatures and, thus, are subject to the same laws of nature that all creatures are—there is nothing special about...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2019 2:31 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Open Boat

Explain how the author creates an increasing sense of hopelessness in the men. 

One of the ways the author illustrates the daunting task ahead of the men is to make the ocean like a character. Each wave is a "menace." As each salty wall of water approached, it shut all else...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2015 9:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

In paragraph 9 of "The Open Boat," we are told that as each wave came, the boat "seemed like a horse making at a...

There are many instances where the sea is personified, where it is described in human or animalistic terms. These uses of figures of speech give the sea (and nature in general) character, almost...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2013 8:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

Why is it that only that oiler dies and not anyone else in Crane's "The Open Boat"?

Billie, the oiler, is hardworking and the most physically capable person in the boat. Used to difficult manual labor, he is strong and can endure hours and hours of rowing in the small boat. The...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2018 3:30 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Open Boat

What is the point of view of "The Open Boat?"

This is an excellent question because the point of view shifts. Initially, the point of view of "The Open Boat" is told from the point of view of a third person narrator. This third person point of...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2012 10:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What is Crane saying in this passage of "The Open Boat"? "When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as...

The context of this quote is that the characters of the story have been in a dinghy for several days. They are close to land, but they are unable to get inshore. Essentially, they are beginning to...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2012 3:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

How is the first paragraph of the story "The Open Boat" important to the passage as a whole?

The opening paragraph efficiently establishes the setting, tone, and inner worlds of the characters within "The Open Boat." The men are trapped on the open sea in a lifeboat. The water and sky are...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2020 12:44 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Open Boat

What's the most likely reason that the correspondent sets aside his cynical attitude?

Based on the question's wording, it hints that this is an opinion-based question and answer, but I don't feel that is giving Crane's text enough credit. Crane quite beautifully tells readers at the...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2018 2:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What are examples of man versus nature in "The Open Boat"?

In “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane, there are a few examples of man versus nature. There are a few ways in which nature is at odds with the sailors on their dinghy. The most obvious is their...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2019 11:18 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

How is Marxist criticism applied to the short story "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane?

One could argue that "The Open Boat" is amenable to a Marxist interpretation—however strained—in that it reveals the existence of a common human nature beneath the artificialities of class...

Latest answer posted March 13, 2020 7:25 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Open Boat

Why does "The Open Boat" start off with the line "None of them knew the color of the sky"?  

In “The Open Boat,” we read a story that talks about the terror of being shipwrecked at sea. The story mainly takes place on a tiny lifeboat that floats along after the wreck of a larger ship. The...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2019 6:10 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Open Boat

In "The Open Boat," what does the shark symbolize?  

You are only allowed to ask one question so I have had to edit down your question. Please do not ask multiple questions in future. You might want to think how the presence of the shark ties in with...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2011 7:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What is a possible thesis statement on "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane? 

When writing an analysis of a literary work, you might want to focus on either a prominent theme in the work or on the way the style of the work relates to the content or theme. In terms of theme,...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2017 7:48 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Open Boat

What are six conflicts in the story "The Open Boat"?

There are several individual conflicts that occur throughout the story. Here are six of the most readily apparent. The story is largely a case of man versus nature, and as such, several conflicts...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2019 5:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What do each of these symbols represent in "The Open Boat": the sea, the gulls, and the tower?

I would say that the tower is the most straightforward symbol in the story because Stephen Crane comes out and writes down exactly what the tower symbolically represents to the correspondent. It...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2017 3:29 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Open Boat

What does the incident with the shark in part 5 reveal about the correspondent’s and captain’s points of view in this...

In part 5, the correspondent is taking his turn rowing; he and the oiler, Billie, are the only two of the four men who can really row: the captain is injured and the cook is physically unable. All...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2020 11:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

Which character dies in "The Open Boat"?  

Billie the oiler is the only character who dies in the story. He's also the only character whose name is given. The fact that Crane only names Billie, the character who dies, makes said character...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2018 10:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

In "The Open Boat," what was the futility of the oiler's struggle to save his life in the battle of natural forces?...

The oiler is the strongest and therefore the most likely one to survive the ordeal. Ironically, he is the only one who dies. This underscores the futility of his struggle against the indifferent...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2013 12:27 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What are an examples of situational, dramatic and verbal irony in Crane's "The Open Boat"?

Situational irony occurs when the men in the open boat see people upon the shore. Situational irony is where a situation occurs in which expectation is contradicted by reality. The men in the...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2011 8:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

In "The Open Boat," what are two instances of dramatic irony in which the characters' perceptions don't match the...

Because Stephen Crane writes "The Open Boat" from a third-person omniscient point of view, he occasionally offers a narrative perspective that is outside the point of view of the story's...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2019 2:58 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Open Boat

In "The Open Boat," why do the men not know the color of the sky?

Immediately after this first sentence of Part I, the narrator tell us that Their eyes glanced level, and were fastened upon the waves that swept toward them. These waves were the hue of slate,...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2018 11:42 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Open Boat

What are the main themes of Stephen Crane's short story "The Open Boat"?

The main theme of "The Open Boat" is Stephen Crane's favorite theme of the complete indifference of nature to mankind in a godless universe. When the men are finally washed ashore, one of them is...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2012 4:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Open Boat

In Stephen Crane's story "The Open Boat," how did the correspondent regard the legend of the "soldier of Algiers"...

When he was a child, the correspondent was told the story of a soldier dying in Algiers, "but he had never regarded the fact as important." His friends at school would tell him all about the...

Latest answer posted June 2, 2019 2:10 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Open Boat

What quotes show a Naturalist theme in "The Open Boat"?

Naturalism is a genre in which nature and humans are, at times, adversarial to each other. The other times, nature is presented as completely uncaring of the existence of humans. Naturalism can...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2018 10:04 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Open Boat

What does this quote, from "The Open Boat," mean? "When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as...

The following quote appears in Stephen Crane's short story "The Open Boat." When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe...

Latest answer posted June 12, 2012 12:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

From "The Open Boat," write a paragraph in which you trace the correspondent's state of mind, and analyze the factors...

"The Open Boat" begins with "None of them knew the color of the sky." The story ends with ". . . they could then be interpreters." That is, the men in the boat could then interpret nature, "the...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2013 6:12 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

Can there be figurative language(similie, metaphor, symbols) in a story that is supposed to be a piece of...

Yes. In fact, skilled writers of fiction and nonfiction use figurative language. Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech is riddled with figurative language, and Emerson's essays such as "Self-Reliance"...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2011 4:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

How does "The Open Boat" depict realistic writing rather than naturalistic?

While there is a lot of overlap between realism and naturalism, the two are distinct literary movements. Naturalism was born from the realist movement, but it often indulges in the grotesque to a...

Latest answer posted March 16, 2020 12:40 pm UTC

5 educator answers

The Open Boat

What is the significance of the first sentence of "The Open Boat": "None of them knew the color of the sky"?

Stephen Crane's short story "The Open Boat" begins in the following way: None of them knew the color of the sky. In looking at this line only, without looking at the sentences which follow, one...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2018 12:59 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Open Boat

Why aren't the men identified by name, and why is the oiler the only one whose name is given in "The Open Boat"?

In Stephen Crane's story, "The Open Boat," we are introduced to four men who have survived the sinking of their ship. The four occupants of the small life boat are the ship's cook, the oiler...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2010 12:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What are the qualities of the sea that contribute to the power of Crane's story, "The Open Boat"?

Herman Melville once remarked that he learned all he knew of life from the sea. Indeed, the sea seems a world of its own in "The Open Boat." In this naturalistic short story, Crane's opening...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2013 4:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

Why does Crane structure "The Open Boat" so that only the oiler dies?

One clue as to why the olier dies--and is the only one to die--lies in the importance of the textual connection between the oiler and the correspondent as seen in light of the Naturalist...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2011 11:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

In "The Open Boat," what is the irony in the oiler's death? What message might Crane be conveying here about fate?

In this story, a small crew of men, including an oiler, battle against a tumultuous sea. Just as land appears, and with it the crew's hope for survival, the oiler drowns in the sea. There are two...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2019 8:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

In "The Open Boat," how does hopelessness dominate the mood of the story?

"The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane, is a fictionalization of a real occurrence in his life. Its portrayal of the sinking of a steamship and the survival of four men is overflowing with the emotions...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2016 4:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

How do the men form a brotherhood? List some examples.

All of the characters in the story are quite literally in the same boat, which means that even though they might not ordinarily give each other the time of day, they have to put aside their...

Latest answer posted February 20, 2020 8:48 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

When do you become aware that your view of events in “The Open Boat” is limited to things seen and heard by the four...

I don't think that there is a moment in which all readers all of a sudden realize that the narrative point of view is limited to the things seen and heard by the four men in the boat. Readers...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2017 2:31 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Open Boat

Why does the oiler die in "The Open Boat"?

"The Open Boat" is actually an adventure story. It was published in his first collection of short stories which, significantly, was titled The Open Boat and Other Tales of Adventure (1898) People...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2015 3:36 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Open Boat

What does the incident with the shark in part 5 of "The Open Boat" reveal about the correspondent’s and captain’s...

In part 5 of “The Open Boat,” the correspondent is on rowing duty when he sees a trail like “blue flame”; when he spots the fin speeding through the water, he realizes that a shark is creating that...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2019 5:36 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

In "The Open Boat," whose voice utters the refrain, "If I am going to be drowned..."?

The men can see the lighthouse and the alleged "house of refuge" by this point. However, they see no signs of life and the cook says, "Funny they don't see us!" He says he wonders why they don't...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2013 4:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What is the resolution to this story?

The correspondent swims to water up to his waist. The naked man on the beach drags the cook ashore "and then waded toward the captain, but the captain waved him away, and sent him to the...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2008 12:46 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Open Boat

Why does Crane repeat the passage "If I am going to be drowned..." What role does that passage play in the...

“Perhaps an individual must consider his own death to be the final phenomenon of nature.” This line sums up the problem of human nature as far as Naturalists are concerned. The correspondent is...

Latest answer posted January 10, 2008 11:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Open Boat

What are the differences between The Open Boat and  the newspaper account of the shipwreck intitled Stephen Crane's...

There are many differences between Crane’s “The Open Boat” and the newspaper account of the shipwreck entitled “Stephen Crane’s Own Story.” Although both accounts use mainly historical details, in...

Latest answer posted September 6, 2018 8:55 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Open Boat

What do the cigars and the matches symbolize in the story?

Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat" is based upon a true incident involving Crane; he and others were shipwrecked on the sea for some thirty hours. Most likely, Crane is represented by the character...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2009 11:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What is the meaning of the first paragraph of "The Open Boat" as it relates to literary naturalism? Establish the...

The first paragraph of Stephen Crane's story "The Open Boat" quickly establishes some of the main principles of literary naturalism. Novelists of the naturalist movement create ordinary characters...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2009 8:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Open Boat

What secondary themes also enrich Crane's story "The Open Boat"?

Two secondary themes have to do with humanity's relationship to nature. The opening line of Crane's story says: None of them knew the color of the sky. This introduces the secondary thematic...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2011 7:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

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