What makes a short story a good piece of literature? A good story should be “descriptive.” Description refers to the detail a writer uses to convey vivid mental images in readers’ minds about the people, places and things in the story. The short story “The Open Boat” is an interesting story which is very detailed. It shows things such as sensory detail, figurative imagery, metaphors, similes, and personification. A good story has good descriptive detail, although the writer is must be careful to select the right detail that will illuminate the point of the story for the reader, which is exactly what Stephen Crane has done. “The Open Boat” has a sense of naturalism, which makes it a good piece of literature. This story made sense, had a flow, and was easy to read. In addition, a story has to have a sense of irony throughout the story to make it a good piece of literature. Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat” is descriptive, has a sense of cosmic irony, and has a sense of naturalism, which make it a good piece of literature.
Stephen Crane uses descriptive adjectives. As the readers approach the opening of the story, the author introduces them to an animated setting by being highly descriptive. The author employs a wide range of personifications, motifs, and a descriptive style of writing to paint vivid imageries within the reader’s mind. The sea that lay ahead of the crew was described as a “broad stretch of lowly coast”. To vivificate the setting even more, the sea was illustrated as “dunes topped with dark vegetation”. Crane also personifies the behaviors of the turbulent sea. Moreover, the surf was “thunderous and mighty”. It’s obviously stated that no mercy will be granted among the passengers.
Mary Flannery O’connor wrote two short stories entitled “Good Country People” and “Revelation”. O’conner displays similarities between the characters and the differences in the role they play at the end of their stories. Inside the two short stories are four characters, Joy and Manly Pointer from “Good country people” and Mary Grace and Mrs. Turpin ...
Furthermore, the story also has a sense of cosmic irony. In “The Open Boat,” Crane’s theme, cosmic irony, is illustrated through the use of symbols for isolation,
insignificance, and indifference. Three specific examples of cosmic irony symbolism used by Crane are, the power of the ocean against the insignificance of the boat, the sea against the universe, and the little boat in a vast sea from the people on the shore. The indifference aspect of cosmic irony is where things serve no purpose, and there is truly no care for anyone or anything. In “The Open Boat,” the power of the ocean against the insignificance of the boat is a perfect example of indifference used by Crane. The universe is represented by the power of the ocean, and the small boat in this ocean is symbolic of man in this giant universe. The immense power of the ocean is indifferent to the small boat, just as the universe could not care less for man.
Moreover, Stephen Crane makes good use of the literary symbol “naturalism”, when the characters in the story are controlled by the forces of nature. Crane has given a better look as to how naturalism really works in everyday life. He has written very descriptively to give a better understanding for the story. Stephen Crane was one of America’s foremost naturalistic writers. Crane exercised keen observations, as well as personal experience to achieve a narrative vividness of nature and its hold on man. The compelling writings of Stephen Crane celebrate a fierce self battling against the harsh elements of its environment and offer a striking example of American naturalism. “The Open Boat” is considered a naturalistic short story. It’s naturalistic and ironic mood make it a very good piece of literature.
Situational irony is when a character’s actions have the opposite of their intended effect. There are clear instances of situational irony found in the short stories, “Prodigal Son”, “The Gift of the Magi”, and “The Yellow Wallpaper”. All of these stories have characters that found themselves in an unexpected circumstance. The biblical story, “Prodigal Son”, is about a father who plans to leave ...
To sum it all up, “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane is a good piece of literature. It is a good piece of literature because it has all of the ideal elements that a short story should have. Detail, irony, and naturalism is shown throughout the story, making it an enjoyable short story to read. The conflict between man and nature/ the universe also make this short story a good piece of literature.