Essay PreviewMore ↓
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. Making extensive use of religious metaphors and allusions in The Blue Hotel (1898), Crane thus explores the interlaced themes of the sin and virtue.
Ironically, although "he disbelieved it and hated it," Crane simply "could not free himself from" the religious background that haunted his entire life (Stallman 5). His father, a well-respected reverend in New Jersey, advocated Bible reading and preached "the right way." Similarly, his mother, who "lived in and for religion," was influential in Methodist church affairs as a speaker and a journalist in her crusade against the vices of her sinful times (Stallman 5). This emotional frenzy of revival Methodism had a strong impact on young Stephen. Nonetheless, he -- falling short of his parents’ expectations on moral principles and spiritual outlook -- chose to reject and defy all those abstract religious notions and sought to probe instead into life’s realities.
Moreover, Crane’s genius as "an observer of psychological and social reality" (Baym 1608) was refined after witnessing battle sights during the late 19th century. What he saw was a stark contrast of the peacefulness and morality preached in church and this thus led him to religious rebelliousness. As a prisoner to his surroundings, man (a soldier) is physically, emotionally, and psychologically challenged by nature’s indifference to humankind. For instance, in the story, "what traps the Swede is his fixed idea of his environment," but in the end, it is the environment itself -- comprised of the Blue Hotel, Sculley, Johnnie, Cowboy Bill, the Easterner, and the saloon gambler -- that traps him (Stallman 488).
To further illustrate how religion permeated into Crane’s writing, many scenes from The Blue Hotel can be cited. Similar to the biblical Three Wise Men (Stallman 487), three individuals out of the East came traveling to Palace Hotel at Fort Romper. The issue explored is the search for identity and the desire of an outsider (the Swede) to define himself through conflict with a society.
How to Cite this Page
"Blue Hotel." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Oct 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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]
535 words (1.5 pages)
- 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]
416 words (1.2 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Blue Hotel Essays]
540 words (1.5 pages)
- 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]
1511 words (4.3 pages)
- 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]
579 words (1.7 pages)
- 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]
666 words (1.9 pages)
- 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]
2661 words (7.6 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]
1387 words (4 pages)
- Blue Hotel Many great films are based on some forms of literature. However, although they might be based on a novel or story, doesn’t mean the movie will accurately portray the work as was written. Filmmakers often exaggerate plots or add extra scenes to try to keep the audiences attention. Hollywood corrupts many classic writings, simply because there are literary techniques used by writers which wouldn’t be as effective in films. Many elements so often used in literature give more of a mental image or feeling rather than physical, thus not translating well visually.... [tags: Papers]
363 words (1 pages)
- The Blue Hotel Steven Crane is not one of the most liked authors in the world. He tends to become to engulfed in the scenery around the action that is taking place rather than the action itself. When watching the movie, cannot experience this description since it is given to them. Details are very important for the readers because if the reader cannot see the same thing that the writer sees then the reader might lose interest in the story. In the story “The Blue Hotel,” Crane uses his excellent setting and character description along with the physical, emotional, and intellectual responses of people under extreme pressure and the betrayal and guilt he shows between the characters to help t... [tags: essays research papers]
645 words (1.8 pages)
Another recurring topic in Crane’s writing is the responsibility for a man’s death. For not acting upon his knowledge of Johnnie’s sin (his lying and cheating at the card game), the Easterner is portrayed as a betrayer, with guilt eating him inside. At the beginning, no one at the hotel would discuss fear or death with the Swede. Thus, in repentance on his part, the Easterner comments, "Every sin is the result of a collaboration" (Crane 1645). Indeed, in the end, the conspiracy of silence between the 5 men involved in the murder leads to a brutal result: The Swede "losses fear and gains death" (Solomon 257-258). A rhetorical question is left then for the reader to reflect upon, posed innocently by the Cowboy, "Well, I didn’t do anythin’, did I?" (Crane 1645).
In conclusion, it can be seen that -- through the exploration of responsibility, guilt, betrayal, and repentance -- Stephen Crane develops the theme that man is alone in a hostile society and nature. The virtuous religious dogmas cannot always explain and help make sense of the cruel realities that each of us faces. Thus, it is only through trusting "the God of [one’s] inner thoughts" (Stallman 16) that one can hope to cope with and survive in this brutal world.