- Why is only the oiler given a name (Billie)? Why are the others referred to generally?
I think that is because the oiler is one of the main characters. Since is the only one who dies and in the ending of the story the focus of the readers is mainly of him.
- Why is that only the Oiler dies and not anyone else?
The Oiler was meant to die, as the Darwin theory says. He followed the captain rules without thinking it through, like the consequences. This was his fate in the story and he couldn’t do nothing to change it.
- What is the view of nature presented in the story?
Nature is viewed as superior to this men because nature had all the control on them. This men couldn’t change nature (their main obstacle)
- What is the view of men presented in this story?
They were hoping for a blessing to find a safe place to stay (land), as much as they wanted to keep their hopes up, their prayers seemed impossible since they couldn’t do anything to change their fate, they couldn’t control the nature, which was the only source they had to find land, they depended on that and that frustrated them and got them really moody because nature often changed from one second to another. They didn’t know were they were standing, they didn’t know if they were close or far from their objective.
- How do the men in the open boat relate to eachother?
They are dealing with the same problem and it’s not like one knows more than the other. They are all this this state of confussion trying to find land. They have the same objetives, the same worries and the same problems.
- What “patterns” or “repitations” do you find in the story? How are these important to understanding the story?
I found the colors grey, black and white really repetitive in the story, or the action of rowing. The rowing is really important because its basically what the men have to do 24/7 and repiting it is showing you how exsausted they are because they don’t have another choice. And the colors represent a really oppressive environment which is what again they have to deal everyday with.
- Where does the narrator seem to “intrude” into the story? Is it distracting, is it effective?
It is distracting and effective at the same time since saying his own opinions often persuade you to think the same way as him but at the same time it is effective because it makes you realize things you didn’t before, and his opinions could help you to make up your own theory about the story.
- What do you think about te ending of the story (after we find out that Billie te Oiler dies)? Is it truthfull, or is the narrator being ironic?
I think the narrator is being ironic when he says he sacrificed himself, that makes him look like a hero when the reality is that he sacrificed for no reason, it was dumb for him to do it, plus, he didn’t helped, he actually made things worse.
- Why dud Crane use the structure he did — the seven sections with Roman numerals?
I think he used the seven sections in Roman numbers because he wanted to show their journey and improvement on achieving their objective through out the sections. I think he named them with Roman numerals so the readers could get a track of how many times the men in the boat failed or were getting more close to the lighthouse.
PATHWAYS TO INTERPRETATION
- Consider the biographical context and connections
- Consider the historical context and connection
PATTERS IN THE OPEN BOAT
- Use of the references to COLORS:
“The roar of te surf was plain, and sometimes they could see the WHITE lip of wave as it sum up the beach”
“A tiny house blocked out the BLACK upon the sky”
“Meanwhile the lighthouse had been growing slowly larger. It had now almost assumed color, and appeard like a little GRAY shadow on the sky”
- Repetition of ROWING passage:
”In the meantime the oiler and the correspondent ROWED. And also they ROWED. They sat together in the same seat, and each ROWED an oar. Then the oiler took both oars; ROWED and they ROWED.”
- Hints or clues of foreshadowing about the oiler?
The following quote is a perfect example that gives you a hint that one of the men in the boat will probably die: “he had never considered it his affair that a soldier of the Legion lay dying in Algiers, or had it appeared to him as a matter of sorrow”
- References to DEATH or DEAD SLEEP? “I never shall see my own, my native land” this forshadowes that he will entually die
- Do the men in “The Open Boat” overcome nature, or are they spared by nature?
nature is against them most of the times although they couldn’t do anything about it because they depened on it. In a way the only thing that could end their problem was nature but naure was the thing who started it too and even made ir worse since it loooks like getting farther of the lighthouse isn’t a solution. I believe they overcomed nature since they gaved up fighting the waves and focused more on just gettung to the lighthouse rowing constantly (they achieved their goal). Nature is the main obstacle, it was the reason that kept them away from their main objective, so definetly the nature didn’t “save them”.