Essay about Stephen Crane's The Bride Comes To Yellow Sky

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Stephen Crane's "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky"

Stephen Crane's "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," as well as his other Western stories, owe much to Mark Twain's approach to the West. According to Eric Solomon, "both authors…used humor to comment on the flaws of traditional fictional processes" (237). While employing parody of the Western literary tradition, Crane also uses realism to depict the influence of the East on the West. In "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," Stephen Crane uses symbolism to develop his study of the changes effected on the West and the roles of its inhabitants by the encroachment of eastern society.

"The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" is a parable of the East's invasion of the West through role changes in a small
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Potter is embarrassed in the great eastern train car. He is not accustomed to the fancy Victorian environment, and neither is his wife. Potter is also worried about the act of his marriage itself. He felt "the shadow of a deed weigh upon him like a leaden slab. He, the town marshal of Yellow Sky, a man known, liked, and feared in his corner… [had married] without consulting Yellow Sky for any part of the transaction" (Crane 403). Potter had defiled the idea of the "Marshal, a figure fearsome and independent" (Solomon 252). Potter also ignored the Western tradition of partnership and consulting one's friends before marriage. He has told no one and is quietly attempting to sneak his bride back into town. This bride is the catalyst of change that is sure to wreak havoc on the social structure of Yellow Sky, and Potter knows it.

Potter's "opposite, Scratchy Wilson cannot face his own two roles" (Solomon 252). Where Potter has realized and is attempting to accept his new role, Scratchy will do nothing of the kind. Scratchy is the town's drunken bum. The occupants of the town are terrified as he rages up and down the street. Scratchy is, however, almost comical in his decorative shirt and fancy boots. Though he isn't conscious of it, these are a symbol of the East's encroachment on Scratchy. His shirt was "made principally by some Jewish women on the east side of New York…and his boots had red tops with gilded
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