Stephen Crane's short story of the open boat is very symbolic in many ways. There are many ways to react to his paper and many different ways of looking at it. My views on it deal with life's struggles and the many roads to be taken during life. .
The story starts with four men in a lifeboat stuck in a stormy sea. Included among these men are a cook, a correspondent, and oiler, and a captain. They are on a mission to their final destination. They finally see a lighthouse that marks their destination point. This means that they are not too far from land. Although land is not too far away, the waves of the sea takes the lifeboat and its crew on an expedition, making it even harder for them to get to land. The possibility of the destruction of the lifeboat and the crushing of the men on the surf, maybe killing them is very likely. .
People watching from the shore are able to see the lifeboat and signal the crew to take their ship in, but are not aware of the conditions out on the sea that make it very difficult for the men to come to shore. The men are hoping that a rescue boat will come out and get them, but their hopes are lost. They must then take the boat further out to sea where the waves are not as destructive. In their minds, the chances of survival are very slim. .
After nights on the lifeboat, the men are very frail and helpless. They have come to the realization that there is no other choice but to fight the sea and overpower it. The captain makes the bold decision to take the boat closer into the shore until the boat can no longer sustain the power of the sea. At that point they must exit the boat and attempt to swim to shore. Exactly as they expected, the lifeboat is turned over as they near the shore and they attempt to swim through the waves, as they grow larger and larger. .
The men swim to shore and make it there safe. They soon come to realize that they are missing a man.