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

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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, you have several options with Stephen Crane's famous story "The Open Boat." You could discuss the way the characters' emotions progress throughout the story—when and why they feel more hopeful or more hopeless. You could also consider the conflict between individual survival and social responsibility or camaraderie. The story ends with the sentence, "And they felt that they could then understand." An essay on "The Open Boat" might consider what the men have come to understand and how.

If you were to discuss the style of the story, you might focus on the narrative perspective, which is a third person limited omniscient perspective. Think about how that choice of narrator affects the story we get. As other answers also mentioned, you could consider how the story fits with the Naturalism...

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