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Crane's Short Story The Open Boat

The following essay maintains as its thesis that in the face of an often brutal and godless existence, Crane demonstrates in ôThe Open Boatö that the only source of psychological wholeness for human beings is to reach out toward others. I reviewed three articles on Steven CraneÆs ôThe Open Boatö from scholarly literary journals, including the Hemingway Review, Studies in Short Fiction, and College Literature. These articles focused on CraneÆs worldview evident in the story, something that helped reveal his theory of psychological wholeness. In my analysis I searched for information that provided greater insight into the authorÆs personal psychology as illustrated by the characters and emotions in the story. The main conclusion I drew from this research is that Crane believed in a harsh and godless world, one where a commitment to other human beings represents the only chance for psychological wholeness.

The Stephen Crane short story ôThe Open Boat,ö is but one of the authorÆs accounts of a personal trauma he suffered, being lost at sea on a lifeboat in January 1897 (Bates, 1998, p. 65). Through fiction, Crane fictionalizes a non-fictional episode from his own past. Because of this, ôThe Open Boatö readily lends itself to a psychological critique, for the authors personal psychology is clearly reflected in the story. The emotions and behavior of the men in the boat demonstrate the authorÆs psychological perspective of ôwholenessö for human beings. For in the story we see that Crane believes that in an often brutal and godless existence, ôwholenessö for individual human beings is reaching out to other human beings.

CraneÆs narration of ôThe Open Boatö demonstrates a good deal about the authorÆs personality. A writer typically writes about personal experiences but while engaged in personal experiences they are typically maintaining a dual or multiple-consciousness, one as writer, one as participati...

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Crane's Short Story The Open Boat. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:47, January 18, 2021, from