E 316K, Berry Two readings of Maggie to consider: I focus on two, co-existing—and contradicting readings—of Crane’s Maggie . Just as “The Open Boat” exhibits the strictest tenets of seeing the world through naturalism’s lens (cf. your handout on Literary Naturalism), “Boat” also exhibits hopeful “intrusions”: the “subtle brotherhood” established on the seas; the sympathy the correspondent feels for a soldier dying on a battlefield in a poem; the mysterious illogic of Billie drowning despite the Darwinian imperative that goes more tidily with the purely Natural (of the ism); the internalization of the life-and-death experience as a “best moment” in their lives; the idea that by recognizing their abilities as “interpreters” at story’s end (even if not directly articulating a value element therein) implies that meaning exists , exists to be interpreted (just to cite several examples of the story’s temporary “lifts” from the bleak constraints of the naturalist aesthetic). So, too, Maggie
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