The height of Stephen Crane's phenomenal description ability is reached in this short story. Rich descriptions are equally met with plot, dialogue, characterization, and self-discovery. This is a tale beautifully composed and should be required reading simply as an example of how wonderful the English language can be. The story itself is enthralling and the reader will be on the edge of their seat wondering what is going to happen to the men in the boat. It will cause you to question your view of the world and open you to new paths of empathy. With even the smallest imagination, the reader will find themselves in the Open Boat, hoping and praying for solid ground.
"If I am going to be drowned--if I am going to be drowned--if I am going
to be drowned, why, in the name of the seven mad gods who rule the sea,
was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees?"