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The lifeboat turns over and the four men must swim into shore. There are rescuers waiting on shore who help the men out of the water. Strangely, as the cook, captain and correspondent reach the shore safely and are helped out of the water, they discover that, somehow, the oiler, the strongest man and best swimmer, has drowned after being smashed in the surf by a huge wave.


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Vocab checkpoint dramatic adjective When something is dramatic it is characterized by strong feelings, emotions or adverse physical conditions as in the meaning used here. It is often used to describe a written style or method of acting compare with drama , a noun, which means play acting. Also, drama can be used to describe real events, and is often heard in news reports. High seas is a term used to describe rough, open sea where the coast may be at a long distance or not visible at all.

It may also be used to describe sea in independent waters not covered by the law of any particular country. An oiler is an engine room worker on a ship whose job is to keep mechanical parts oiled so they do not go rusty at sea. The most common meaning of crash is associated with the collision of cars.

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Crash may also be used with the action of waves breaking on the shore, or on something like a boat, swimmer or other object in the sea. To signal is to indicate using hands, a flag, a fire, lights or flares, etc. A signal as a noun is a physical symbol intended to warn or indicate something to people e. Smashed is another way of saying broken.

In this case it is used figuratively to describe how the strongest of the men was beaten by the sea. Huge means very large.

by Stephen Crane

Common synonyms of huge include enormous , massive and gigantic. The pounding of the waves describes the constant action and noise of waves breaking against the shore or against the boat. To pound is to beat or hit something constantly. The Open Boat.


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The short story is usually concerned with a single effect conveyed in only one or a few significant episodes or scenes. The form encourages economy of setting, concise…. American literature, the body of written works produced in the English language in the United States. Like other national literatures, American literature was shaped by the history of the country that produced it.

‘The Open Boat’ by Stephen Crane

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