The Open Boat

by

Stephen Crane

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Life-saving man Character Analysis

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. He is also the first person to discover that the oiler drowned. The only time he speaks is to exclaim “What’s that?” at the sight of the oiler lying face-down in the shallow water. The life-saving man is completely naked and shines “like a saint” with a “halo” above his head—praised by the narrator and characters for how he goes out of his way to help other people.

Life-saving man Quotes in The Open Boat

The The Open Boat quotes below are all either spoken by Life-saving man or refer to Life-saving man. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Humans vs. Nature Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift Editions edition of The Open Boat published in 1993.
Part VII Quotes

He was naked, naked as a tree in winter, but a halo was about his head and he shone like a saint.

Related Characters: Correspondent, Life-saving man
Explanation and Analysis:
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Life-saving man Character Timeline in The Open Boat

The timeline below shows where the character Life-saving man appears in The Open Boat. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part VII
Humans vs. Nature Theme Icon
Fate and Mortality Theme Icon
The correspondent notices what looks to be a life-saving man running across the shore and stripping off his clothes. Just then, a massive wave sweeps... (full context)
Suffering, Survival, Empathy, and Community Theme Icon
The life-saving man on the shore who had been running and undressing lugs the cook to shore and... (full context)
Humans vs. Nature Theme Icon
Suffering, Survival, Empathy, and Community Theme Icon
Fate and Mortality Theme Icon
The life-saving man suddenly cries out, “What’s that?” and points, and the correspondent tells him, “Go.” In the... (full context)