The Open Boat Questions and Answers
by Stephen Crane

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

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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 other ways they are significantly different. Notable first of all is that Crane’s newspaper account is written in first-person, whereas the point of view in his short story is third-person limited. The perspective, then, switches from “journalistic” in one story to a literary narrator on the other. Consider, for example, the first sentence of the short story: “None of them knew the color of the sky.” This line initially suggests an omniscient point of view, but as we read further, the perspective is that of the correspondent, as keen observer, who seems to know much about his comrades and offers this summary:

If I am going to lose my life to the sea—if I am going to lose my life to the sea—why was I allowed to come this far to see sand and trees? Was I brought here...

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