In reading Steven Crane’s short story and then his newspaper account of the ship wreck, although both versions were similar in many ways, the article told more of what happened from the very beginning, while the short story picks up at the tail end of the horrible event. Both were very descriptive, but at the same time the article didn’t quite describe things such as colors and feelings the way the short story did. When reading the short story, you could connect with the characters; the article simply told of the people and the events in a more distant and to the point manner.
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The newspaper article begins by telling what type of men were on the Commodore, where the ship was going, and what the ship was carrying, as well as telling that there was a ship wreck. Four men got into a dingy, and there were several that tried to make it onto rafts made from practically anything that would float. The article goes on to tell that four of the men tried to save some of the people that were on rafts until a black man tried to pull them back into the wreckage. With having no other options, the men had to let go of the rope and not try to save the other people or they would have doomed themselves. If a person did not read the newspaper article and only read the story, the reader would not know how the four men ended up in the situation of being on the dingy boat.
The short story did not tell any of what happened in this time. It begins with the men on the dingy approaching the shores of Florida, and the events that proceeded from there. The story did not mention any thing that happened during or right after the wreck. It goes into great detail about what the men see and how they feel; what the men are thinking and saying at that point. It doesn’t tell of any of the thoughts they have about the events that had already passed. It is as if the men had begun their journey on the dingy.
Another difference was that the newspaper article only told what was needed to be about the four men on the boat. The literary version of the story went into full detail of how everything was happening after the wreck of the Commodore. The story was in such detail that a person could actually picture everything that was happening to the four men. The story Steven Crane wrote even went as far as to tell the colors of the skies and the sounds of the waves hitting the dingy boat. It was like the story could grab a person and pull them in to the horrifying time that the men were going through. He wanted to give the reader the feeling that they were actually there with him on his journey. The newspaper article went into more detail by giving all the names more often and basic information, to where the story did not. The reason for the newspaper not being in great detail was because it was, in fact, a news source. If a newspaper went as far as telling everyone’s whole story of everything that happened to them, the stories would be too long for the newspapers to publish. Crane wrote the story wanting it to allow people to actually grasp what these men went through while trying to reach the shores of Florida, while the article put forth all of the important aspects of the events unfolded after the steamer set out on its journey.
In the end, both stories told of when the men were finally saved, but again the way it was told was totally different. The article didn’t mention the hours that the men had floated aimlessly waiting to be saved and the people they saw on the shore, but it did, however, tell of the man running to pull them out of the water and even went as far as giving his name. The newspaper article came right out and said that Billy Higgins the “oiler” had died, and the story gave more of an insight as to what had happened by simply saying he was lying there with his face in the sand, and later that the man was carrying him toward them still dripping water. With the literary version, the reader could tell the dramatization of everyone that survived when the men saw Billy dead; again the author wanted his audience to be able to connect with the characters. The article did not tell how the men felt after their dramatizing time at sea, but the story, on the other hand, did. In the story, the three men that were left stated that they could interpret what the sea was saying.
Both parts of the story went into great detail, but both in different ways. The newspaper article was basically telling what happened before, during, and after the wreck of the Commodore, even giving dates that the ship set sail. The short story, although telling about the same shipwreck, explained what happened after the wreck of the Commodore; the events that led up to when they were finally saved, and did so with much more vivid detail.
without reading both the article and the story one would not have the whole truth of what happened. Each piece was written to serve a different purpose. The short story was written so that people understood the hardships that unfolded following the sinking of the Commodore, while the newspaper article was written to inform the community about the shipwreck.
Points to consider:
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When writing a compare/contrast essay, you need to make sure that you incorporate a theme into your work. In other words, how do the different aspects of the essay (characters, setting, writing style, etc.) support the overarching thesis? Do the parts of one work do a better job than the parts of the work it is being compared / contrasted to? Simply pointing out similarities and differences without addressing a thesis is too vague and offers the reader no point as to why you wrote the work to begin with. While it is clear you read both works, I would like to know what it is you got out of it by comparing them together. What did you learn from reading the text, and what do you want your reader to learn from your work?
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Expand on your introduction and/or your conclusion. While these areas may not seem as important as the actual argument being made in the body of the essay, they do lead your reader into a specific direction both while they are reading the essay and after they are done. The introduction and conclusion have a strong impact on the parts of your essay that your reader will pay attention to both before they get into the argument and afterward. Be direct with where you intend your audience to go, and don’t leave anything up to chance. Lead the reader in and out of your work as you see fit.
While your essay contains some errors in punctuation, organization, or other issues, it is clear you made a solid attempt at the assignment. Keep up the good work; just pay a little more attention to details.
Grade = 90 / A-
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