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Cranes Use of Companionship Through the Effects of Nature in The Open Boat and Red Badge of Courage In both of these stories The Open Boat and The Red Badge of Courage Stephen Crane uses the theme of companionship The way in which he uses this theme differs in some ways but are also comparable in both stories In both stories it is evident that the men all need each other both mentally and physically Without one another it would be inevitable that each and every one of the characters would not have been able to move on and survive without one another Another similarity between both stories is that an act of nature is what really brings the men together Yet another similarity is the fact that in both stories the men think of themselves throughout the massive ordeals In The Open Boat each man wonders to himself why me why now Similarly in The Red Badge of Courage Henry feels compelled to believe that he will run cowardly during battle and try to escape death of which he was terribly afraid It is evident that in both cases there is a moment of self-discovery where all characters are forced to take a step back from all the commotion and gather themselves in order for each of them to survive together In The Open Boat the sea storm is the act of nature that draws the men to depend on one another and in The Red Badge of Courage the act of nature is a combination of both the squirrel and the dead man against the tree In both cases nature has the ultimate say in how the men respond In The Open Boat companionship is what allows the men to survive Without all of the men working together as a team the small dinghy would have definitely sunk Had the men not taken turns rowing and sleeping the fate
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