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Word Count: 458
In his short story The Open Boat Stephen Crane shows us a Universe totally unconcerned with the affairs of humankind it is an indifferent Universe in which Man has to struggle to survive The characters in the story come face to face with this indifference and are nearly overcome by Natures lack of concern They survive only through persistence and cooperation The story opens with four men known simply as the captain the oiler the correspondent and the cook stranded in the ocean in a small boat Cranes descriptions in these opening scenes show right away the antagonism of the men and the sea and natures lack of concern for their tragedy The birds sat comfortably in groups and they were envied by some in the dingey for the wrath of the sea was no more to them than it was to a covey of prairie chickens a thousand miles inland The men are in a desperate situation but nature continues in its ways regardless of what might happen to them The Sun continues to rise and set everyday The shore is lonely and indifferent They are even regarded by a shark who apparently finds no use for them Although the men are pitted against an uncaring sea they still at this point seem to think their destinies are controlled by some outside force Their collective thoughts are given thus If I am going to be drowned--if I am going to be drowned--if I am going to be drowned why in the name of the seven mad gods who rule the sea was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and treesIf this old ninny-woman Fate cannot do better than this she should be deprived of the managemant of mens fortunes It soon dawns on them though that there is no fate no purpose for their being where they are It is the realization of this fact that brings the men
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