6 March 2013
Response to Question Eight
“Open Boat” and “The Outcasts of Poker Flat:” Comparing the Struggles
The struggles in everyday life cannot compare to what is revealed in these two stories; however, the similarities of the two can be compared to each other. The characters manage with a great deal of struggles. Not all the time one may have to live through the many difficulties in life that the characters live with in “Open Boat” and “The Outcasts of Poker Flat”. After looking at the two stories, the similarities of the struggles are greatly noticeable. The stories of Bret Hart’s “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” and Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat” are quite similar in that the characters of both stories deal with the struggles of nature, survival, and even death.
Nature is very dangerous to a human when the appropriate shelter is not provided. In this story, “The Open Boat”, the dangerously high and powerful waves make it very difficult for the four men whom are stuck at sea after their boat sank. This is seen in the first paragraph: “The horizon narrowed and widened, and dipped and rose, and at all times its edge was jagged with waves that seemed thrust up in points like rocks” (Crane 1352). This type of severe nature is life threating to the men who are trying to make it to shore. The same can be said about the characters in “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” who deal with similar struggles; however, it’s the snow that is threatening the lives of the characters in this story. The dangerousness of the snow is revealed as it states, “It became more and more difficult to replenish their fires, even from the fallen trees beside them, now half hidden in the drifts.” (Harte 1182). The snow was so deep that is became a great threat to their very lives. Nature can take many forms; nonetheless, it can threaten the lives of anyone who is faced with its fury.
To the characters in these two stories, survival becomes something of...