Make your own free website on
Stephen Crane Online
The Open Boat Review
Picture Gallery
List of Works
The Open Boat Review
Red Badge of Courage Review
A Dark Brown Dog Review

By:  Sarah M. Horner

Opinion Review

            I did not really like Stephen Crane’s story The Open Boat because it really wasn’t much of a story and he but to many details into.  This story could have been written in twelve pages but instead he wrote in about twenty pages.  He stuffs so many useless details into the story such as when spends half of a page describing the amount of seagulls that are on the water, and what color they are and all of this other stuff that really isn’t necessary.  All of the description of unimportant stuff just makes me bored with the whole story.  Also I could tell what was going to happen long before I got to the end.  It was just an easy story to figure out.  Four men trapped at see who make several attempts to get to safety, well of course they are going to finally get rescued.  This the only story of Stephen Cranes that I have read so maybe he really is a good author and I just happen to read the only bad story he has written.  Or maybe he really just is a bad author.


The Captain, the Cook, the Oilier, and the Correspondent of a ship were all trying to survive the hard hits of the gigantic ocean after their ship sank into the depths of the unknown.  The boat that they were all on was about the size of a proper bathtub.  The cook, oilier, and the correspondent all take turns rowing their little dingy, while one rows the other two sleep in the bottom of the boat which is full of salty ocean water.  It is so cold that they use the water to help keep them warm.  The captain does not help row because he is injured, he just lies there and sometimes speaks to whoever is rowing when they think that they are all alone.  Uncertain of their fate they keep the hope alive by talking about the crew from the house of refuge that is coming to rescue them, they hope.

They spot a light house and think that they are finally going to get out of the ocean, but after they wait for a while and no one comes to rescue them and it is to far a way for them to make it to, so then they move on.  They continue rowing and try to go inland several more times but they never quite make to the shore.  Then finally they come across a village filled with little black houses.  They realize that no one is coming out to save them so they decide that they are going to have to reach land themselves.  So they take the small dingy as far inland as they can get it before it is torn apart by the waves then they all jump out and begin to swim.  Everyone but the oiler makes it to shore alive except for the oiler, who is found on the beach face down.  Then they are all greeted on the shore by the entire village with blankets and such.  After going through so much they understand what the sea is really about.

(C) 2005 TMS Inc. Stephen Crane Online