Jan 12, 2018 in Research

Open Boat and To Build a Fire

It is worth noting that in both The Open Boat and To Build a Fire there is a point where I began to feel the pain that these men were undergoing. For instance, in The Open Boat, I would feel the pain of the four men stranded at sea for thirty hours after their ship sank after hitting a sandbar. They face many problems because of the unfavorable climatic conditions hence undergoing enormous pain. Similarly, I would feel the pain of the man suffering from stinging cold conditions in the story To Build a Fire.

The Open Boat reiterates that the moods of the men in a crisis fluctuated from anger at their difficult situation to an increasing level of empathy for one another. Additionally, it is asserted that the men in a crisis “Come to a significant realization that nature does not favor their fate” (Crane). The anger emanates from their desperate situation as they still experience enormous problems caused by nature as they try to sail in a small boat toward the shore. The continuous sea waves lead to the observation that nature was indifferent to the fate of the four men. However, the story indicates that they still have a lot of hope and believe they will get to the shore safely.

To Build a Fire  affirms that nature relates to man antagonistically. Nature does not allow man to progress and it tries to stop every step that the man tries to make toward his survival. For instance, nature does not allow the man to light a fire that would keep him warm hence indicating its antagonist relationship to man. Nature numbs him making it difficult to for him to light a fire and obtain warmth from the dog. The author asserts, “He is unable to kill the dog because of the extreme cold as he cannot pull out his knife.” (London)

In The Open Boat, the author communicates the message of despair at the point where he highlights the decision of the four men to abandon their small boat and decide to swim ashore. They had given up using the small boat as they faced numerous challenges such as intensive waves emanating from the unfavorable treatment by nature. Again, the author indicates desperation in To Build a Fire at the instance where the man takes a desperate move to run to acquire some warmth but gives up after discovering that he cannot manage. Therefore, he gives up and decides to sits down and waits for nature to take its course.

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