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 in comparison to humans, the correspondent draws attention to humankind’s insignificance in the face of nature’s vastness and power. In addition, the wind tower also symbolizes desperation. The correspondent wonders if anyone ever climbs the tall wind tower as if it were a lighthouse and looks out at the sea. The correspondent hopes that this might be the case despite its unlikeliness, wanting to believe that the men have a greater chance of being seen and saved. In this way, the wind tower also symbolizes the resilience (and the naivety) of human hope—which often endures against all odds in the face of nature’s overwhelming power and indifference.
Wind tower Quotes in The Open Boat
A man in this situation […] should see the innumerable flaws of his life, and have them taste wickedly in his mind and wish for another chance. A distinction between right and wrong seems absurdly clear to him […] and he understands that if he were given another opportunity he would mend his conduct and his words, and be better and brighter during an introduction or at a tea.