The Open Boat
The Red Badge of Courage & Other Stories
The Open Boat is based on Stephen Crane's own real-life experience, when a ship he was sailing on to Cuba sank in high seas off the coast of Florida. He was a correspondent for an American newspaper and he was on his way to write about problems that led up to The Spanish-American War in 1898.

How many men are in the lifeboat when the story opens?

Who are they?

How do you think they got there?

Can you remember which character says each of the following lines from the story?

1. I wish we had a sail.

2. They'll see us before long and come out after us.

3. We'll overturn.

4. A little more north, sir.

5. Shall I take her to sea again captain?

6. Billie, would you row for awhile?

7. Come to the boat! Come to the boat.

8. Thanks old man.

9. What's that?

These quotes occur in the same order in the story as they do above. Try to use the quotes above to remember the important events of a story and tell with a friend. If you are in a class, different pairs can take turns retelling the story.

Following the plot
Number these events from 1-12 in the order in which they occurred in the story.
  • The captain saw the lighthouse on Mosquito Inlet.
  • The man on the shore saved the correspondent.
  • The men exchanged addresses.
  • The captain's ship sank.
  • The lifeboat sank.
  • The captain saw the lighthouse on Mosquito Inlet.
  • The correspondent saw that the oiler had drowned.
  • A man on the shore waved his coat at the men in the boat.
  • The second morning arrived.
  • The first morning arrived.
  • People come with blankets and coffee.
  • The captain gave his coat to the cook and correspondent to make a sail.
••• contents ••• Title Page ••• synopsis ••• pre-story ••• in-story ••• exercises ••• follow-up •••