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Ideals Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Crane and Human Ideals

Stephen Crane’s short story, “The Open Boat” (1894) shows a microcosm of social interdependency, which is set against the back-drop of the natural world. The story, at its most basic root, could be considered a “man vs. nature” story, or an adventure story with the sea as a symbol for nature’s essential neutrality and indifference to human life and human aspiration. Given this central tension in the story, it is important to recognize that Crane, rather than pitting an heroic protagonist against the trial against an indifferent nature, chose to express the heroic capacity of a group of individuals acting in concert for their mutual survival. In this way, the story becomes less about the indifference of nature and more…