The Open Boat


Stephen Crane

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The eight cigars that the correspondent finds in his pocket symbolize the random and inexplicable nature of fate. Four of the eight cigars are, inexplicably, completely dry, coincidentally leaving one for each man. There is…

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The soldier from the poem that the correspondent remembers from his youth (Caroline E. S. Norton’s “Bingers on the Rhine”) symbolizes mankind’s helplessness and mortality. Clutching his bleeding chest with his left hand, the soldier…

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Wind tower

The wind tower symbolizes nature’s power over—and indifference toward—humankind. The correspondent says so directly, calling the tower a “giant standing with its back to the plight of the ants.” By emphasizing the wind tower’s size…

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