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A Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

A research paper on A Bride Comes to Yellow Sky could begin:

Stephen Crane’s the Bride Comes to Yellow Sky explores Crane’s disdain for the Western movement and the industrialization of the East. The theme of the story rests in the conflict between the values of the East and the West. By carefully understating the ridiculous nature of the violent West and the frontier spirit over exaggerated, Crane illustrates that the romanticism of the American wilderness and the “good old days” are gone for the West.

Some facts concerning A Bride Comes to Yellow Sky:

  • Written by Stephen Crane
  • Published in 1898
  • Location - Yellow Sky, TX
  • Main Characters:
    • Jack Potter
    • Jack's Wife
    • Scratchy Wilson
    • A "Drummer" (salesman)

A Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

Yellow Sky, Texas

Yellow Sky is located in Texas and holds onto elements of the “old west” while slowly moving into the modern era of industrialism. The very fact that the bride came to Yellow Sky on a train is Crane’s subtle way of using humor to illustrate that the East and the West were no longer so far apart. Other elements of humor used to illustrate the encroachment of the East on the West rest in the character of Scratchy. Scratchy wears a “maroon-coloured flannel shirt” that was probably made by “some Jewish women on the East Side of New York”. Scratchy is the last element of the “Old West” left in Yellow Sky as he spends his time in the saloon. Scratchy is represented by Crane as childlike, alluding to Crane’s theme of the West needing to grow up and realize that the East was encroaching upon them.

A Bride Comes to Yellow Sky and Marriage

Just as Scratchy could not understand the state of marriage and the drummer could not understand that a man like Scratchy and a place like Yellow Sky could exist outside of “civilization”, Crane illustrates that change is frightening for both extremes but inevitable. “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” explores the issues in America at the time in regards to fear.  A small chipping away at the American ideal of the wilderness and sacrifices for ideals had seeped into the minds of society.  The idealism that America was built on "one nation, under God" had eroded with the division of the civil war and expansionism. Crane had seen a war that split the nation into a northern society which may have professed to be fighting a war for the freedom of all mankind, while in reality, the politicians and orchestrators of the war were fighting for economics. Crane’s theme of the East’s encroachment upon the West is one that he could only approach with subtle humor, mostly because of the old adage that it is better to laugh than to cry when there is nothing that one can do about a situation.

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