Stephen Crane’s Theme of Community
Stephen Crane is well known in the literary world for his many underlying themes. In Stephan Crane’s “The Open Boat,” one of the many themes that can be seen is that of community. He brings to life the importance of the each individual’s role in the group setting. Crane uses a dire situation in which men’s lives are in the hands of each other to show that without group togetherness no one would make it. He shows the group being given false hopes from outside forces but, how in the end the group must band together for survival and not rely on anything but themselves. “The Open Boat” is one of Crane’s best known works. Throughout the story, paralleling an actually event in his life Crane brings the reader inside the minds of his characters. By letting the reader see what each individual character is feeling, the sense of needing a community can be felt.
Stephan Crane’s life was not long, but with his time he accomplished much. Crane’s use of the community theme can easily be linked to his own personal experiences. He was born in Newark New Jersey in 1871 as the 14th child of a Methodist minister. His father died while Crane was still a young child. He attended two years of college. After his short college career Crane lived in a medical boarding house in New York City. There he started his freelance writing. In 1893 he published his first book, Maggie: Girl of the Streets. Throughout these earlier years in his life he also wrote Red Badge of Courage and The Black Rider, along with many other works. In 1879 Crane attempted to do journalistic reporting on the insurrection of Cuba. On his voyage the ship the Commodore sunk, leaving him to float to safety in a lifeboat. It is from this experienc…
…4th, 2003] Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.nagasaki-gaigo.ac.jp/ishikawa/amlit/c/crane_s19re.htm
Source: ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, American Literature on the Web Stephen Crane (1871-1900), [cited April 24th, 2003] Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.nagasaki-gaigo.ac.jp/ishikawa/amlit/c/crane_s19re.htm
Crane, Stephen “The Open Boat” in Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay 4th Ed. Robert Di Yanni (New York, New York, 1998)
Stephan Crane’s “The Open Boat”, [cited April 24th, 2003] Available on the World Wide Web: http://sites.unc.edu/storyforms/openboat/community/index.html