This short story is pretty straightforward. The prose is clear and
concise, and it's easy to follow the action. So plot-wise, we've got nothing to
worry about. You might want to put it into low gear once we get to the philosophical
side of things, though, because that's where things get a little complicated.
This story forces us into some pretty tough spots, asking us questions like: is
the universe orderly or chaotic? Is humankind important? Are there punishments
and rewards for ethical behavior? Careful, because once you step into "The
Open Boat," you're heading into some deep philosophical waters. Be sure to
wear your lifejacket.