The Open Boat
Stephen crane, everything you need for every book you read..
Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Stephen Crane's The Open Boat . Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Open Boat: Introduction
The open boat: plot summary, the open boat: detailed summary & analysis, the open boat: themes, the open boat: quotes, the open boat: characters, the open boat: symbols, the open boat: literary devices, the open boat: theme wheel, brief biography of stephen crane.
Historical Context of The Open Boat
Other books related to the open boat.
- Full Title: The Open Boat
- When Written: 1897
- Where Written: Florida
- When Published: June 1897
- Literary Period: American naturalism
- Genre: Short story; American naturalism
- Setting: The open sea just off the coast of Florida
- Climax: The men jump overboard and swim for shore
- Antagonist: Fate; the sea
- Point of View: Third-person limited
Extra Credit for The Open Boat
Famous friends. Stephen Crane built several friendships with famous writers throughout his lifetime, including Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and H.G. Wells.
Frivolity and finances. Stephen Crane and his common-law wife, Cora, squandered their finances, pulling themselves deeper into debt by living in an expensive manor house and lavishly entertaining literary celebrities.
- Information Science
- Social Issues
- Cause and Effect
- Compare and Contrast
- What Is an Essay
- Length of an Essay
- Generate Ideas
- Types of Essays
- Structuring an Essay
- Outline For Essay
- Essay Introduction
- Thesis Statement
- Body of an Essay
- Writing a Conclusion
- Essay Writing Tips
- Drafting an Essay
- Revision Process
- Fix a Broken Essay
- Format of an Essay
- Essay Examples
- Essay Checklist
- Essay Writing Service
- Pay for Research Paper
- Write My Research Paper
- Write My Essay
- Custom Essay Writing Service
- Admission Essay Writing Service
- Pay for Essay
- Academic Ghostwriting
- Write My Book Report
- Case Study Writing Service
- Dissertation Writing Service
- Coursework Writing Service
- Lab Report Writing Service
- Do My Assignment
- Buy College Papers
- Capstone Project Writing Service
- Buy Research Paper
- Custom Essays for Sale
Can’t find a perfect paper?
- Free Essay Samples
A Book Review of "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane
Updated 05 October 2022
Topic The Open Boat
"The Open Boat" is a novel by Stephen Crane. In this book review, I discuss Crane's shifting points of view, the emphasis on loneliness, and the use of literary naturalism. I also discuss Crane's interest in the subject of literary naturalism. I hope that this review will be helpful to you in your own reading of this book.Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat" The short story, "The Open Boat," by Stephen Crane, was first published in 1897. It is based on Crane's personal experience of surviving a shipwreck off the coast of Florida. He had been traveling to Cuba when his ship was caught in a storm.Crane's writing conveys an existential view of mankind. He shows how we are so insignificant in the universe that we must interpret an unknowable reality. His men in the dinghy attempt to make sense of their plight by appealing to god and the heavens for help, but in the end, the universe and the narrator are utterly indifferent to their courage and sacrifice.In his book, Stephen Crane uses many characterizations of nature, from the ocean to a sandbar. While the narrator changes his way of describing the ocean, the sea does not.Stephen Crane's shifting point of view in "The Open Boat" The shifting point of view of "The Open Boat" makes the reader rethink the notion of omniscience. While Crane was likely trying to emphasize that the characters are 'as one,' they are in fact different from one another. He was also probably trying to underscore that we cannot fully understand reality. By presenting four different characters with the same experience, he makes his point about the importance of interpreting the meaning of a question.The shifting point of view of "The Open Boat" reveals the dilemmas that man faces in life. The dinghy, for example, is symbolic of man's helplessness and the omnipresence of nature. It is filled with danger and fear. The men who are on board have no protection and rely solely on chance to be rescued.Crane's emphasis on loneliness in "The Open Boat" "The Open Boat" is a novel by Thomas Crane. It is a novel about loneliness. This story focuses on the loneliness of its characters and the loneliness of nature. Crane emphasizes the loneliness of nature by portraying it as cruel and unknowable. This novel also emphasizes the insignificance of man in the world. Its opening storm is a powerful metaphor for the loneliness that the characters experience on the open water.Many critics consider "The Open Boat" Crane's finest work, a blend of intense concern for the inner world and respect for the outside world. The novel was inspired by Crane's thirty-hour experience in a dinghy adrift at sea after the sinking of the Commodore, a ship bound illegally for Cuba before the Spanish-American War. Crane explores the development of consciousness and a growing awareness of nature in this novel. In doing so, he defines loneliness and defines the brotherhood of people who have encountered the ocean.Crane's interest in literary naturalism Crane's interest in literary naturalisn in "The Open Boat" is a revealing example of his interest in naturalism and the psychology of perception. This short story has elements of literary naturalism, and the author uses a number of literary naturalist devices to portray the world around him. For example, Crane uses the metaphor of seaweed, a brown material that resembles land, as a metaphor for a gull. The Canton-flannel gulls sit on the seaweed in a group, a metaphor that reflects Crane's interest in literary naturalisim.Crane's use of literary naturalism is a key element of the novel, demonstrating how the environment shapes a person's behavior. This novel introduces Darwinism and literary Naturalism to American literature, exposing the hypocrisy of the traditional moral tenets.Crane's irony in "The Open Boat" "The Open Boat" is a novel by Stephen Crane, written in the late 1800s. The story depicts a life on a ship at sea despite the harsh conditions. It gives readers an intimate look at the life of a man and his family, as they struggle against the elements. Crane also conveys an existentialist view of humanity, portraying how the individual is small and insignificant in the face of unknowable realities. In the novel, the men attempt to rationalize their existence against nature by appealing to the heavens and god, but their actions are ultimately in vain, as the universe is uncaring.Throughout the novel, Crane uses several different types of irony. One of these is dramatic irony, which involves the reader knowing something that the characters do not. This occurs when, for instance, the reader knows the ocean's conditions while the characters do not. Crane uses this irony to emphasize the bleakness of the characters' condition.
Deadline is approaching?
Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch
Find Out the Cost of Your Paper
Type your email
Have a language expert improve your writing
Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.
- Knowledge Base
- How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples
How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples
Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .
Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.
You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:
- Start with a question
- Write your initial answer
- Develop your answer
- Refine your thesis statement
Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text
Be assured that you'll submit flawless writing. Upload your document to correct all your mistakes.
Table of contents
What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.
A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.
The best thesis statements are:
- Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
- Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
- Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.
The only proofreading tool specialized in correcting academic writing - try for free!
The academic proofreading tool has been trained on 1000s of academic texts and by native English editors. Making it the most accurate and reliable proofreading tool for students.
Try for free
The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .
The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.
You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.
You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?
For example, you might ask:
After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.
In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.
The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.
In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.
The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.
A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:
- Why you hold this position
- What they’ll learn from your essay
- The key points of your argument or narrative
The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.
These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.
Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:
- In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
- In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.
If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
- Ad hominem fallacy
- Post hoc fallacy
- Appeal to authority fallacy
- False cause fallacy
- Sunk cost fallacy
- Choosing Essay Topic
- Write a College Essay
- Write a Diversity Essay
- College Essay Format & Structure
- Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay
- Grammar Checker
- Paraphrasing Tool
- Text Summarizer
- AI Detector
- Plagiarism Checker
- Citation Generator
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :
- Ask a question about your topic .
- Write your initial answer.
- Develop your answer by including reasons.
- Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.
The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
McCombes, S. (2023, August 15). How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved January 16, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/thesis-statement/
Is this article helpful?
Other students also liked, how to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples, how to write topic sentences | 4 steps, examples & purpose, academic paragraph structure | step-by-step guide & examples, what is your plagiarism score.
A Reader-Response to Crane’s ‘The Open Boat’ Essay
The Open Boat begins with four men battling for their life in a lifeboat at a sea. ”These waves were of the hues of slate, save for the tops, which were foaming white and all of the men knew the colors of the sea” (Crane, p. 1). It is dark because they cannot recognize the color of the sky.
The four occupants of the boat are survivors of a shipwreck. Each occupant has unique features. There is a cook boiling out water from the bottom of the boat. The oiler, who is the strongest of them all, is rowing with one oar. He is obviously an experienced seaman from his mastery of the sea. Also, on board is an unnamed correspondent who is not a seaman as he keeps questioning himself trying to understand predicament (p. 1).
The fourth occupant is their captain, injured and lying at the bow of the boat. They are optimistic that the other occupants of their wrecked ship have probably gone to seek help for them (p. 1). They row hoping to come across a lighthouse or a house of refuge. After a while, they spot a lighthouse and their spirits are lifted, but not for long as they see no signs of human life, “the light heartedness of a former time had completely faded” (p. 4).
Their hopelessness is reflected in their exchange of addresses, just in case they do not make it to shore (p. 4). Not long, their hopes are raised again when they spot a man waving; what they thought was a flag, but turns out to be a man waving his coat at them because he thought they were fishermen (p. 4-5). This greatly annoys them adding to their helplessness.
After a while, they spot a tiny house on shore amid the dunes, but they find it odd that no one sees them. There is neither light nor hope. The only company they have is of a shark circling their boat. They do not share their thoughts but wonder why nature would let them die after they have tried so hard to stay alive. In the morning, the correspondent spots a watch fire, some houses and a windmill on the beach, but no sight of people.
The captain decides that they should make a break for it and turn the boat towards the shore, but nature is working against them. Therefore, they decide to abandon the boat and swim. The captain, the cook, and the correspondent use the boat as support, but the oiler swims ahead of them. When the three get ashore, the natives warmly welcome them, but sadly, the oiler was not so lucky.
This story is a recount of the author’s personal experience of surviving a shipwreck. The author was travelling to Cuba to work as a newspaper correspondent when his ship hit a sandbar and sank off the coast of Florida forcing him together with other three men to find their way ashore in a small boat.
It was a difficult journey that took them thirty hours, but eventually they got on shore even though one of them, an oiler, drowned. Soon after, Crane narrated their survival story in a report form that was first published as “Stephen Crane’s Own Story”, which later became the short story, “The Open Boat.”
This story is about survival, solidarity and conflict between man and nature. These elements come up in my life most often. The waves that kept rocking the men’s small boat are not just waves, but represent the obstacles that I face every day in life as I try to accomplish something. The captain’s character and mine are very similar.
I relate to the captain because he was the leader of his small crew just as I am the eldest in my family, hence a leader by birth. Despite the captain’s injuries, he was still able to give directions and provide moral support to his crew. In the same way, being the eldest, my siblings always look up to me for guidance and support.
Therefore, I have to be able to provide guidance and support to my siblings no matter what. Sometimes, it is hard as I am not that old, but I do not show my weaknesses since I have to remain strong always. Just as the captain could not let his injuries bar him from making his crew get ashore, I do not let my age bar me from providing leadership to my siblings.
As usual, life throws many curve balls our way, but challenges are there to make us strong and more courageous. It has proved to me that in times of trouble, there will always be solidarity. The waves that kept rocking the boat are the hardships we endure in our day-to-day life.
Financial “waves” are the ones that have hit us the hardest especially in these hard economic times. Prioritizing our needs is difficult, as this would mean that we have to deny ourselves luxuries like going to movies. Nevertheless, solidarity amongst ourselves is what helps us get through the rough waves. Solidarity is what kept these men alive, even though they lost one of them in the end.
As a young adult, I have learned that parents will go to any length to support their children. I have developed into a very responsible adult because of having to provide guidance to my siblings. I feel that many people can relate to The Open Boat as each one of us is always attacked by different kinds of “waves” each day. The biggest challenge is overcoming these “waves” without losing anything, be it your dignity or loved ones.
Crane, Stephen. The Open Boat. New York : Doubleday and McClure, 1898. Print.
- Chicago (A-D)
- Chicago (N-B)
IvyPanda. (2019, March 13). A Reader-Response to Crane’s ‘The Open Boat’. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-reader-response-to-cranes-the-open-boat/
"A Reader-Response to Crane’s ‘The Open Boat’." IvyPanda , 13 Mar. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/a-reader-response-to-cranes-the-open-boat/.
IvyPanda . (2019) 'A Reader-Response to Crane’s ‘The Open Boat’'. 13 March.
IvyPanda . 2019. "A Reader-Response to Crane’s ‘The Open Boat’." March 13, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-reader-response-to-cranes-the-open-boat/.
1. IvyPanda . "A Reader-Response to Crane’s ‘The Open Boat’." March 13, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-reader-response-to-cranes-the-open-boat/.
IvyPanda . "A Reader-Response to Crane’s ‘The Open Boat’." March 13, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-reader-response-to-cranes-the-open-boat/.
- “Beauty and the Beast” Story Analysis Using Literary Theory
- "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane
- Who Are You in "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane?
- Designated Person Ashore: Ensuring Safety and Coordination
- How Bingeing Became the New College Sports by Seaman
- Literary Naturalism: "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane
- Naturalism in "The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane
- "To the Lighthouse" a Novel by Virginia Woolf
- “The Open Boat” Short Story by Stephen Crane
- Virginia Woolf: To the Lighthouse
- The Influence of Language on Thinking
- Waiting for Lefty
- Of Mice and Men
- Stylistics of Poetry and Prose: A case of Contrast
- Analytic Response to Amy Tan's short story entitled "Two Kinds"
- International edition
- Australia edition
- Europe edition
Who are the Houthis and how did the US and UK strikes on Yemen come about?
The US and UK have launched strikes on Houthi positions in Yemen’s west
- Middle East crisis live: follow for updates
- Visual guide to the US-UK strikes on Houthis in Yemen
The US and UK have launched airstrikes on more than a dozen sites used by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, according to US officials. More information on the strikes can be found here .
The strikes are the most significant military response to the Houthis’ persistent campaign of drone and missile attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, which began after Israel’s war in Gaza broke out. Here’s how we got here:
Who are the Houthis?
The Houthis are a Yemeni militia group named after their founder, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, and representing the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam. They emerged in the 1980s in opposition to Saudi Arabia’s religious influence in Yemen. The group, which has an estimated 20,000 fighters and whose official name is Ansar Allah, runs most of the west of the country and is in charge of its Red Sea coastline.
What is the group’s relationship with Iran and the war in Gaza?
The Houthis are backed by Iran as part of its longstanding hostility with Saudi Arabia and are supporting Hamas in the war in Gaza. Soon after the Hamas massacre on 7 October, the Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi said his forces were “ready to move in the hundreds of thousands to join the Palestinian people and confront the enemy”.
What has been happening in the Red Sea?
The Red Sea, one of the world’s most densely packed shipping channels, lies south of the Suez canal, the most significant waterway connecting Europe to Asia and east Africa. Yemen is situated along the sea’s south-east coast, where it meets the Gulf of Aden.
Shortly after the start of the Gaza war the Houthis began launching missile and drone attacks at vessels in the Red Sea, most of which were intercepted by US and Israeli countermeasures.
The situation escalated on 19 November, when militants used a helicopter to seize a car carrier chartered by a Japanese company and linked to an Israeli businessman, abducted the crew. The Houthis said all vessels they perceived as linked to Israel or its allies would “become a legitimate target for armed forces”.
Multiple attacks on vessels followed , mostly without success, but many shipping companies nevertheless decided to bypass the Red Sea route and divert around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, significantly adding to journey times and cost.
How has the US responded?
On 18 December the US announced the formation of Operation Prosperity Guardian in response to the Houthi attacks.
The US refrained from direct confrontation until 31 December, when US Navy helicopters fired on a group of small boats attempting to board a container ship that had requested their protection. The deaths of 10 militants marked a new phase in the crisis.
On 9 January US and British warships shot down 21 drones and missiles fired by the Houthis, in what London called the largest such attack in the area. On 10 January, Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, said further attacks could prompt a western military response .
What was happening in Yemen before the Gaza war?
The Houthis had been gaining support around the turn of the century from Shia Yemenis fed up with the corruption and cruelty of the longtime authoritarian president and Saudi ally, Ali Abdullah Saleh, particularly during the aftermath of 9/11 and the US invasion of Iraq. Popular protests and several assassination attempts forced Saleh to resign in 2012.
In 2014 the Houthis allied with their former enemy Saleh to seize the capital, Sana’a, and overthrew the new western-backed president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a year later. After Hadi was forced to flee, the exiled Yemeni government asked its allies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE to launch a military campaign, also backed by the west, to drive out the Houthis.
A catastrophic civil war ensued that the UN estimated led to 377,000 deaths and displaced 4 million people by the end of 2021.
The Houthis in effect won the war. An April 2022 ceasefire prompted a significant decline in violence, and fighting has largely remained in abeyance despite the official expiry of the truce in October.
How were the attacks by the Houthis seen in Yemen and Saudi Arabia?
Some Yemenis see the Houthi operations as a legitimate means of exerting pressure on Israel and its allies in defence of Palestinian civilians, and analysts say the Houthis’ intervention has helped shore up their domestic support. The militants also believe attacks in the Red Sea can make them a more significant global player, synonymous with Yemen as a whole despite the presence of an internationally recognised government in the south of the country.
Meanwhile, the Saudis are attempting to normalise relations with Iran, and finalise a peace deal that could recognise Houthi control of the north of Yemen. They have been anxious about any response from the US that could complicate its effort to withdraw from the country.
More information Visual guide : What has been hit and where in Yemen? Regional response : Hezbollah and Iran condemn US and UK Analysis : Strikes could bring Biden closer to the regional war he sought to avoid
- Middle East and north Africa
US military says it seized Iranian weapons bound for Houthis
US ship south-east of Aden hit by Houthi missile; two Palestinians kill woman and injure several in Israel – as it happened
Rishi Sunak: UK willing to take further military action against Houthis
Airstrikes against Houthis are not enough, says Yemeni official
Houthi missile targeting US warship intercepted, says US, amid Red Sea tensions
UK will not accept Red Sea being permanently closed, says Shapps
Monday briefing: From Hezbollah to the Houthis, these are the risks of a wider Middle East war
Whoever rules the waves rules the world... The Red Sea crisis will show us if that’s true
‘Lights are flashing red’ over global instability, says David Cameron
Red Sea crisis could shatter hopes of global economic recovery