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

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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 men on board are struggling to stay alive in the harsh environment of the sea. The opening line of the story sets the mood of the story for the reader by helping express the emotions that the men are feeling. The story starts by saying,

None of them knew the color of the sky. Their eyes glanced level and remained upon the waves that swept towards them.

Crane uses hyperbole —exaggerating the idea of their vigilance towards the sea to help create a mood of fear in the story. It seems unlikely that the men didn’t “know the color of the sky”—instead, Crane is exaggerating to create the image that the men haven’t stopped watching the waves long...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 478 words.)

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