Fear in Crane's The Blue Hotel

Fear in Crane's The Blue Hotel

Length: 540 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


Fear in Crane's The Blue Hotel

 

Stephen Crane's "The Blue Hotel" is, according to Daniel Weiss, "an intensive study of fear." The story uses a game to show how fear unravels itself. He also discusses inner fears as opposed to fears existing in reality, and the ways that they bring each other about in this short story.

            Weiss begins by pointing out how Crane used the stereotypical 1890's American West as his setting. The Swede comes to the Blues Hotel with the assumption that he will witness, if not be involved in, robberies and murders. The Swede was already experiencing inner fears about the West and when he was invited to join a friendly card game with Johnnie and the other customers of the Blue Hotel, his fears were heightened. When Scully calmed the Swede's nerves by giving him something to drink, the Swede undergoes a complete transformation and becomes what he considers to be a Westerner. The drinking, according to Weiss, returns the Swede to his original fears, but this time he isn't afraid, he is "cannibalistic", devouring his opponents and becoming very aggressive. He began "board-whacking" and eventually accused Johnnie of cheating. Weiss states that the card game was a "benign way for him to work off his aggressions harmlessly." However when Johnnie started cheating, the reality of crime and gambling set in and "the cheating restore[d] the game to the world of outlaws, professional gamblers, and gunmen." After the two fought and the Swede was triumphant, the Swede went on to the local saloon where he picked a fight and was killed by a professional gambler. The Swede was experiencing a high on power and liberation when he ordered the other men in the bar to drink with him. When he is stabbed, the Swede returns to his earlier disposition as a victim of the West.

            Concerning "fear" in the story, Weiss says that "The Blue Hotel" deals with paranoid delusions. The Swede moves from "wary apprehension" to panic and "passive acceptance of annihilation", to becoming the aggressor and pursuer, then he regresses to being the pursued once again. He moves through these stages throughout the story and within the framework of the "game." Weiss writes that in order to avoid being hurt by his "pursuer", the Swede transforms himself into the pursuer. By moving from a panicked to a manic state, the Swede masters his feelings of self-esteem, alienation, and death.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Fear in Crane's The Blue Hotel." 123HelpMe.com. 15 Sep 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=5484>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Symbolic Naturalist of The Blue Hotel Essay

- The Symbolic Naturalist of The Blue Hotel   This essay considers the perspective of James Trammell Cox as presented in his essay: An Analysis of the Blue Hotel   Cox begins his essay by discussing naturalism and Crane's fictional style. He suggests that Crane's technique "is that of the symbolist rather than the naturalist in that he carefully selects his details not as pieces of evidence in a one-dimensional report on man but as connotatively associated parts of an elaborately contrived symbolic structure." Basically the thrust of Cox's argument is centered around the degree to which Crane displays the characteristics of a naturalist writer....   [tags: Blue Hotel Essays]

Free Essays
416 words (1.2 pages)

Essay about Blue Hotel

- It is not surprising for an author’s background and surroundings to profoundly affect his writing. Having come from a Methodist lineage and living at a time when the church was still an influential facet in people’s daily lives, Stephen Crane was deeply instilled with religious dogmas. However, fear of retribution soon turned to cynicism and criticism of his idealistic parents’ God, "the wrathful Jehovah of the Old Testament" (Stallman 16), as he was confronted with the harsh realities of war as a journalistic correspondent....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
795 words (2.3 pages)

Stephen Crane the Naturalist Essay

- Stephen Crane the Naturalist Stephen Crane (1871-1900), the naturalism, American writer. Stephen Crane was well known for his naturalist style during his time. Naturalism in literature was a philosophy used by writers to describe humans in regards to the influences and interactions within their own environments. The characters described in the naturalist literatures were usually in dire surroundings and often from the middle to lower classes. Despite their circumstances however, humans within the naturalist literature were able to eventually overcome their situations by some form of courage or heroism, which Crane found to be consistent in all of the cultures and settings he often s...   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
2103 words (6 pages)

Essay about Analysis of The Blue Hotel by Stephen Crane

- Analysis of The Blue Hotel by Stephen Crane "The Blue Hotel" by Stephen Crane is a story about three travelers passing through Fort Romper, Nebraska. Pat Scully, the owner of the Palace Hotel, draws the men to his hotel that is near the train station. In the hotel the three men meet Johnnie, son of Scully, and agree to play a game of cards with him. During the game, the Swede declares Johnnie as a cheater; this gives rise to a fistfight between Johnnie and the Swede. The Swede wins the fight but leaves the hotel with a false sense of confidence....   [tags: Short Stories The Blue Hotel Essays]

Research Papers
579 words (1.7 pages)

Importance of Setting in The Blue Hotel Essay

- Importance of Setting in Stephen Crane's The Blue Hotel    In  'The Blue Hotel,' Stephen Crane uses various provocative techniques to ensure that the setting adds to the richness of the story. 'The Blue Hotel' is set in a cold Nebraska town at the Palace Hotel in the late 1800's, but there is more to setting than just when and where a story takes place.  In a written work, it is the author's job to vividly depict events in order to keep the reader?s attention and to create colorful mental images of places, objects, or situations....   [tags: Blue Hotel Essays Stephen Crane]

Research Papers
1511 words (4.3 pages)

Man and Nature in Stephen Crane's The Blue Hotel and The Open Boat Essay

- Man and Nature in The Blue Hotel and The Open Boat      Stephen Crane uses a massive, ominous stove, sprawled out in a tiny room and burning with "god-like violence," as a principal metaphor to communicate his interpretation of the world. Full of nearly restrained energy, the torrid stove is a symbol of the burning, potentially eruptive earth to which humans "cling" and of which they are a part. As a literary naturalist, Crane interpreted reality from a Darwinian perspective, and saw the earth driven by adamant natural laws, violent and powerful laws which are often hostile to humans and their societies, and he conceived of humans as accidents, inhabiting a harsh, irrational, dan...   [tags: Blue Hotel Essays]

Research Papers
2661 words (7.6 pages)

The Blue Hotel Essay

- The Blue Hotel As a recently published book on the works of Stephen Crane, it is rather disappointing to see some of the key moments left out of Stanley Wertheim's criticism in A Stephen Crane Encyclopedia about the short story "The Blue Hotel." Wertheim leaves out a key point in the characterization of the Swede and the plot of the story. This occurs at the point where Patrick Scully, in the story, persuades the Swede to stay in his hotel despite his fears and inhibitions about the Wild West by getting him to drink and not to worry....   [tags: Blue Hotel Essays]

Free Essays
342 words (1 pages)

Progression and the Structure of The Blue Hotel Essay

- Progression and the Structure of The Blue Hotel In his essay, Robert F. Gleckner discusses progression, as it is related to the structure of "The Blue Hotel." He follows the progression of power and control in the story, as it shifts to different characters. Gleckner also follows the progression of the storm outside and how it symbolizes a natural force that will always be more powerful than human control. In the beginning of "The Blue Hotel," Scully has the power, as he "practically makes [his three guests] prisoners....   [tags: Blue Hotel Essays]

Free Essays
535 words (1.5 pages)

Free Essays Settings, Characters, and Ideas in The Blue Hotel

- Settings, Characters, and Ideas in The Blue Hotel The Story "The Blue Hotel" by Stephen Crane was one that inspires a lot of thought. This thought is about settings, characters, and ideas. The characters he creates are very different from each other, as shown in comparisons to each other. The use of symbolism in the story lets us imagine why the hotel is painted blue and we can wonder about the character of the Swede for long periods of time. These elements combined have made this story very good....   [tags: Blue Hotel Essays]

Free Essays
666 words (1.9 pages)

Insider vs. Outsider in The Blue Hotel, The Displaced Person, Bernice Bobs her Hair, and Novel In Dubious Battle

- Insider vs. Outsider in The Blue Hotel, The Displaced Person, Bernice Bobs her Hair, and Novel In Dubious Battle Whenever a stranger enters an unfamiliar society, a clash between the outsider’s practices and society’s guidelines undoubtedly occurs. Whether the resulting conflict minimally or powerfully affects the people involved depends on the situation, but usually the results are monumental. In the short stories “The Blue Hotel,” “The Displaced Person,” and “Bernice Bobs her Hair,” and the novel In Dubious Battle, society’s fear of the stranger has severe negative consequences for the newcomer, as the community’s rules prevail over the outsiders in the end....   [tags: Blue Hotel displaced Bernice Dubious Essays]

Research Papers
1387 words (4 pages)

Related Searches

The Swede, upon coming to the small western town, was already psychotic and prejudiced and was searching for assurance against his fears. By accepting the drink that Scully offers, the Swede takes the place of his pursuers and becomes the aggressor. The fight between Johnnie and him is a manifestation of his new role. The fight with the gambler is an unintentional manifestation of this.

            Daniel Weiss hypothesizes that Stephen Crane's "The Blue Hotel" is not only a short story, but is also a study of human behavior when under the influence of paranoid and fear. He writes about how Swede's inner fears become outward actions during the "game" and how his fears caused him to change character and move into a more comfortable role to deal with his fears.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com