Identifying and Analyzing Figures of Speech in ''The Open Boat''

Contributor: Allison Crews. Lesson ID: 13732

While you are "jumping and slipping and racing" through Stephen Crane's short story, "The Open Boat," review common figures of speech and analyze how they affect a reader's experience.


Literary Studies, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • How many literary figures of speech can you name?

List them in the space below:

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Once you have your list, scroll on to find out if you've identified the ones you'll be working with in this lesson!

Review the most common literary figures of speech as you watch this student-made video with examples from pop culture.

Literary Devices in Pop Culture from bcwalden43:

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  • Were some of these figures of speech on the list you made?
  • Can you think of an example of any of these figures of speech from a show or movie you've watched recently?

Review Practice

Select the correct literary device for each of the following definitions.

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Read the Story

The Open Boat, by Stephen Crane, is a short story based on a real-life experience the author had in 1897.

Crane and three others were in a boat that struck a sandbar and sank. They were stranded at sea for 30 hours, trying to make their way to shore.

Crane adapted this story into a narrative retelling that was first published in Scribner's Magazine. This story is considered to be emblematic of American literary naturalism as a genre.

As you read The Open Boat, courtesy of American English, be on the lookout for examples of the figures of speech mentioned above!

When you have finished reading The Open Boat, click through to the Got It? section to analyze the story.

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