The Open Boat
I liked this short story. It was different in way, then what we’ve been reading. In the stories we’ve been reading I saw the relationship between man and woman. In this story you have a relationship between this group of guys and then their relationship with nature. I think that you have this classic man verse nature conflict occurring within the story.
It was neat to see his poem in the story. I had to stop reading and go back to the section of his poems to make sure I was reading right! I mean you have these men, in a boat struggling against nature. They come to a several different realizations within the story. At one point they realize that nature does not have pity for them. It does not care of their situation and will not yield to them just because they are there. Another fact that is reveled in the story is the shift from being individuals to being a group. I think there are only a few lines that comment on this actual shift, but I see it as an important aspect of the story.
It was interesting to see the workers/characters of the boat that crashed take on the same roles in the raft. The Captain, heartbroken over the loss of his ship, took the natural position of steering the raft and delegating. These characters survived by doing what they do best, just on a smaller raft. The death of the oiler at the end is a little off to me. It is strange that he is the one chosen to die. The strangest on the raft is the one to die. This could allude to the fact that death doesn’t have preference. It just chooses whom it wants and it doesn’t matter if you are big or small, if it’s your time, it’s your time. It is a bit ironic as well.