Naturalistic Purpose in Crane's "The Open Boat- and London's "To Build a Fire-.
Naturalism is best defined as nature's indifference toward the trials of humanity, and it is also used to illustrate an individual's relationship with nature. "The Open Boat- by Stephen Crane and "To Build a Fire- by Jack London, are two works highly noted as examples of man's struggle versus nature's forces. Crane writes in a more philosophical story line, using natural elements that define character. London however, applies the scientific method to a life and death struggle, revealing a frightening truth about human reason to that of the primal instinct of a lesser creature (the sled dog). By using these purposes the reader focuses his or her attention on key elements of the narrative, such as character, setting, conflict and theme. This gives the authors a stronger base in drawing very respectable conclusions. In both "The Open Boat- and "To Build a Fire-, the authors use purpose to make a point about man's rule in nature. .
"The Open Boat- opens with four men known as the captain, the oiler, the correspondent, and the cook, stranded in an ocean in a small dinghy. Based on a true experience Crane had on the morning of January 2, 1897, off the coast of Florida. To help bring out characteristics of his characters, Crane presents a design of the actual events of the shipwreck. More so of a mental journey as well as a physical one, where the correspondent changes from the observer to the participant. Crane shows his readers a Universe totally unconcerned with the affairs of mankind. "[The waves were] just as nervously anxious to do something effective in the way of swamping boats- (Crane 1230). The characters come face to face with this Universe, and are nearly overcome by nature's lack of concern. Through persistence and cooperation is how these men attempt to survive. The correspondent's moral maturity shows the story's naturalism and realism, the oiler's sudden death also brings out naturalism.