"The Open Boat" by Stephen Crane deals with the story of sailors who are stuck at sea. It reveals the struggles they undergo to escape the situation. The story is about the difficulties they have to face and their outcome. The story mainly focuses on the struggle of man against nature, their cooperativeness in facing the circumstances and the role the setting plays in the struggle. .
In the story, nature plays an important role. The author emphasizes that the fate of the sailors are in the hand of nature. Nature can be cruel to them or it can help the sailors survive.
"When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him, he at first wishes to throw bricks at the temple, and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples. Any visible expression of nature would surely be pelleted with his jeers" (515).
Crane compares man to nature in the sense that man is inferior to nature. In this quote, the author states that nature controls the destiny. Since the sea is unpredictable and always changes, it is impossible to say what the outcome is going to be.
"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 seven gods who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees-(509).
These example shows that human beings have very little impact on the overall world, and that they are subject to fate. The sailors are angry by the fact that the nature holds their fate and that they cannot do anything about it. Moreover, in the end we see that the .
nature favors the correspondent and helps the correspondent survive. "A large wave caught him and flung him with ease and supreme speed completely over the boat and far beyond it. It struck him even then as an event in gymnastics, and a true miracle in the sea" (519).