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Loneliness, A Theme In The Open Boat By Stephen Crane

774 words - 4 pages

In “The Open Boat,” the author, Stephen Crane, uses symbols and events to emphasize the fact that we are all alone in life, even if there are people around us. Nobody knows what is going through our minds. Each experience is different, even if they all are looking at the same thing. Just like with the blind men and the elephant, the cook, the correspondent, the captain, and the oiler all are in the boat together, but each one has their own experiences.
There are several symbols in the story that help to emphasize that point. One powerful one is the boat. It is small and alone on the ocean, with only the occasional patch of seaweed or a seagull or two to keep it company. The waves themselves ...view middle of the document...

He simply looked at the sea dully and swore in an undertone./ Nevertheless, it was true that he did not wish to be alone. He wished one of his companions to awaken by chance and keep him company with it.” line 170&171.

He did not wake up his exhausted mates and continued rowing until he couldn’t any more. The cook also faced a shark, but he was not rowing. He had to keep the boat facing the seas to let the oiler and correspondent rest for a bit.
For a while, “ …the correspondent thought that he was the one man afloat on all the oceans. The wind had a voice as it came over the waves, and it was sadder than the end.” Line 164. By giving the wind a voice, the author also helps us imagine the loneliness on the sea and helps us connect it to the bigger theme of life by giving it emotions.
Another event that shows both how people tend to be alone is how the men reacted when the boat swamped. Each man left the other in the sea and tried to make it to the shore. When the correspondent came...

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