August 15, 2000
story involves suspense or an area of interest to a reader it does not have to be something
they necessarily can relate to, just enjoy. It may not have as many readers, but it will
endure time and captivate those with that particular interest. I have selected stories on
both side of the spectrum to explain.
representation of general nature.? The main character Iona, the carriage driver, is
get anyone to listen to the misery he is in or even explain what has happened or how.
depressed. Misery is a part of life, some suffer greater misery than others, but it is no
respector of persons.
Iona knew the way he felt about losing his son and knew he simply needed to talk
about what he had to say. One customer, a hunchback, scorned, cursed and hit him for
fulfill their own interests and pursuits. Not everyone experiences what Iona did in his
situation, but often our misery is ignored or mocked. Often we are treated this way by
others to disguise of one?s own misery. The customer that treated Iona the worst was the
hunchback. Along with being hunchback he was short and had a cracked, quivering voice.
Most likely he had experienced a lot of misery with no outlet himself and did not
empathize with others.
?This week….er….my….er….son died! We shall all die,….? says the
hunchback with a sigh, wiping his lips after coughing. ?Come, drive on!
us there?? (Chekov 417)
In the end Iona had not succeeded in sharing his misery with any of his customers.
However, the companion that had been with him all day was available and listened, his
?That?s how it is, old girl….Kuzma Ionitch is gone….He said good-bye to
me…. He went and died for no reason….Now, suppose you had a little colt,
colt went and died….You?d be sorry, wouldn?t you?….? The little mare
and tells her all about it. (Chekov 419)
who dipped the water out of the boat after crashing waves and selected conversations
during their journey of escape from the sea.
?The cook squatted in the bottom, and looked with both eyes at the six
inches of gunwale which separated him from the ocean.?
?His sleeves were rolled over his fat forearms, and the two flaps of his
unbuttoned vest dangled as he bent to bail out the boat.?
?The oiler, steering with one of the two oars in the boat, sometimes raised
himself suddenly to keep clear of water that swirled in over the stern.?
?The correspondent, pulling at the oar, watched the waves and wondered
why he was there.?
profound dejection and indifference which comes, temporarily at least, to
even the bravest and most enduring when, willy-nilly, the firm fails, the
I feel this story is not representative of common experience. It is not every day
that one encounters or hears of others encountering being shipwrecked, escaping and
making it safely back to shore. It seems unrealistic and like it is a one-in-a-million chance
of happening type of event. Though I can not directly relate, I enjoy reading this story
because of its suspense, detailed account of events and conversation and the fact that it is
based on a true story. The fact that the author wrote this story because it happened to him
made me want to read it to see what he went through and how he made it out.
(1995) : 415-419.
Crane, Stephen. ?The Open Boat.? Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and
Drama (1995) : 192-210.