Several themes are presented in this story including the indifference of nature to man, the insignificance of man in the universe and meaning of society in a harsh world. Though the narrator has thoroughly characterized nature as humanistic, animistic and deistic, Crane makes it clear that nature is ultimately indifferent to man’s predicament, and it possesses no consciousness. The reality of the nature lack of concern for the men becomes clear as the stranded men progress in the open ocean. The narrator shows this development by changing the description of the sea.
Early in the story, the narrator argues that the sea hisses, snarls and also bucks like a bronco. Later the sea simply “paces to and from”. In reality, the sea never changes, but the men’s perception of the sea changes. Crane pinpoints the
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