The Open Boat


Stephen Crane

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Open Boat can help.


The unnamed correspondent is a journalist who survives a shipwreck and is forced to battle the open seas on a ten-foot lifeboat with three other men—the captain, the oiler, and the cookread analysis of Correspondent


The unnamed captain of the now-sunken Commodore also captains the lifeboat, instructing his makeshift crew (which is comprised of the correspondent, the oiler, and the cook). Though injured in the hand, the… read analysis of Captain


The oiler (that is, someone who oils machinery in a ship’s engine room) is a quiet, tired man named Billie who rides on the lifeboat with his fellow survivors: the captain, the correspondentread analysis of Oiler


The cook is a cheerful, chubby man who rides the ten-foot lifeboat alongside the captain, the correspondent, and the oiler. He is responsible for bailing the water out of the boat while… read analysis of Cook

Life-saving man

The life-saving man is the person who notices the four shipwreck survivors swimming toward the shore. After saving the cook, he tries to help the captain, who points him toward the correspondent first… read analysis of Life-saving man
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Waving man

The waving man is a tourist who mistakes the four shipwreck survivors for a group of fishermen. He cheerfully waves hello to the men with his coat, unaware of the men’s desperation. His waving is… read analysis of Waving man