The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky Summary & Study Guide
FREE Stephen Crane The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky Essay
Experiences from Crane's own life bear directly on this particular piece of short fiction. Crane's late father had been a Methodist minister, and his late mother had been the daughter of a Methodist minister. A year or two before he wrote "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" Crane had taken up with the madam of a house of prostitution in Jacksonville, Florida. He was well aware of how impossible it would be to bring such a woman back to his home territory, where relatives, friends, and acquaintances were still living. During the period from 1891 to 1896 the author lived mostly in New York (aside from brief trips to the West and Mexico in 1895), producing reportage and fiction for various local papers. In New York the raffish and footloose Crane took liberal advantage of what such purlieus as the Bowery had to offer. Beer, Crane's early biographer, colorfully describes this spicy, unruly district of shabby buildings, saloons, prostitutes, and what O. Henry called "waifs and strays," and then adds, "The Bowery, though, was funny. Comedians aped its dress on the stage of Koster and Bial's improper vaudeville and speakers at banquets recited Bowery jokes. There was no other slum in America so settled of speech and habit. It was supposed that the Bowery invented words." It is this latter element that actually provides a means for an understanding of the structure as well as the contents of "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky."
Stephen Crane's The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky - …
The text itself bespeaks not merely a dramatic performance involving rituals, as some commentators have indicated, but an actual vaudeville show. The matter of basic stage setting—scenery and music—is made clear at certain points in the narrative. Sheriff Potter recalls as he and his bride are riding toward Yellow Sky that the town has a brass band of sorts, and he imagines without pleasure what kind of uproarious parade and escort the band would provide for them from the train station to his home if the townspeople knew about their marriage and expected their arrival. Back in Yellow Sky, across from the Weary Gentleman Saloon, there were "vivid green grass-plots" so striking in appearance as to arouse "a doubt in the mind" because of their exact resemblance to "the grass mats used to represent lawns on the stage."