2003-2004 Student Queries

2003-2004 Student Queries


Crane in 1894 

QUESTION:  I would like to know where exactly Crane lived around 1894. I don’t really need the exact adress but it would be nice to have that information since I have to write his resume. Thank you very much. Michelle 11/30/04 Using the Search feature to find answers to questions

QUESTION: I would like to know where I can find the newpaper article “Stephen Crane’s Own Story” writen by Stephen Crane, after he survived a shipwreck of the Florida coast. I need to find the text for an English assignment. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Valerie 11/18/04

You can find the answers to many questions, including this one, by using the Search feature at the site. The answer can be found at the bottom of this page as a reply to a question posted in February 2004.

Here is the article online: http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/lewiss/CraneStory.htm

Setting of “The Blue Hotel”

I am looking for information on the setting of the Blue Hotel for a paper. Areas of interest are the Geographical, Historical, Season and if there is a Day, date and time the story takes place. Any help will be much appreciated.

Thank You
John Mancini, jmancini1@cfl.rr.com


Yes, it is possible to place the setting of “The Blue Hotel” in an historical, geographical, and chronological framework. In late January of 1895 Crane embarked on a trip to the West and Mexico as a feature writer for the Bacheller newspaper syndicate. For three days in the first week of February, he was marooned by a fierce winter storm in Kearny, Nebraska, in the north central part of the state. At Kearny the temperature ranged from fourteen to eighteen degrees below zero and the wind velocity reached sixty miles an hour. Crane viewed the storm from his unheated room in Kearny’s ramshackle hotel, and it was this town and its hotel that was probably the model for Fort Romper and the Palace Hotel in “The Blue Hotel.”

–Stanley Wertheim, 10-20-04

“An Illusion in Red and White”


Do you have any information about Crane’s short story “An Illusion
in Red and White”? Where can I find more information concerning this
short story?

Thanks and regards! 7/22/04

Source of Red Badge of Courage 

QUESTION: I am writing a research paper on Steven Cranes “Red Badge of Courage” and was wondering if I could get some information on what led Crane to write this book.  Thank you

Scott Edwards scott.edwards@newpiper.com


Well, first of all, it’s not “Steven Cranes Red Badge of Courage” but Stephen Crane’s “The Red Badge of Courage,” and if you are writing a research paper on what motivated Crane to write this novel, I suggest you go to a library and do some research. Perhaps you should begin with Patrick K. Dooley’s Stephen Crane: An Annotated Bibliography of Secondary Scholarship and, for more recent information, I would suggest somewhat immodestly my books, The Crane Log and A Stephen Crane Encyclopedia. In any event, this is not a question for which you will find an answer on a web site.

–Stanley Wertheim 8/4/04

Crane as Photographer? 
QUESTION: I was wondering is there any evidence that Stephen Crane tooks photographs during the time he lived in New York or travelled around the world?


This is really a very interesting question since Crane had a number of friends who were professional photographers, notably Jacob Riis, F. H. King, and Jimmy Hare. There is, nevertheless, not a single photograph extant that can reliably be said to have been taken by Stephen Crane.
–Stanley Wertheim 7/5/04“The Open Boat” and American Experience

Does “The Open Boat” has anything to do with the experience of being American and/or the Amrican Dream like many other American texts do? Veerle Ultee 6/4/04

Criticism on “The Blue Hotel”

QUESTION: I am doing a criticism paper on the Swede in “the Blue hotel” i need to find some sources on this.. please contact me and help… thank you Trey Slimster6986@yahoo.com 4-13-04

“Yellow Silk Women” in Maggie

QUESTION: Crane refers to “yellow silk women” in his story “Maggie, A Girl …”.  What does he mean by this reference? Jessica Coyne 4-9-04

The three music halls to which Pete takes Maggie in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, described at the beginnings of chapters 7, 12, and 14, reflect the degenerating quality of their relationship. The first is a “green hued hall” in which an orchestra of “yellow silk women and bald-headed men” play a waltz. The formal dress of the men and women and the fact that the music they play is a waltz illustrates the elegance of this music hall. Pete treats Maggie with less respect when he takes her to “a hall of irregular shaps” which has a “submissive orchestra,” and the third hall, described as “a hilarious hall,” where Pete abandons Maggie to run off with Nell, has an orchestra “composed of men who looked as if they had just happened in.”

Stanley Wertheim 4-15-04

“The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”QUESTION: what is the theme of stephen cranes “the bride comes to yellow sky?”

Lauren Henderson


“The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” a satire of the confrontational Western that Crane himself popularized in such stories as “The Five White Mice” and “A Man and Some Others.” Also satirized is the Eastern conception of the lawman and the gunfighter. Both Potter and Wilson are comic anachronisms. Scratchy is an ersatz badman whose dress and behavior are fashioned by Eastern conceptions, and Potter, by marrying, has violated the traditions of the Lone Ranger. He has “gone headlong over all the social hedges.” As Scratchy leaves the scene of the failed confrontation at the conclusion of the story, his feet form “funnel-shaped tracks in the heavy sand.” Like the sands of an hourglass, time has run out for the classic Wild West confrontation of the lawman and the gunfighter. Human efforts to impose ordered patterns on the vicissitudes of existence are merely imprints on the sands of time.   –Stanley Wertheim 4-20-04“The Blue Hotel”: A dozen to 40 women? 
QUESTION: i wanted to know the signifigance of the following phrase from “the blue hotel”:”usually there are from a dozen to forty women really involved in every murder….”. Why does Crane pick those two particular numbers? roxanne satarzadeh roxyluvsweezer09@aol.com


Critics are divided about the significance of the Easterner’s assertion at the conclusion of “The Blue Hotel” that “[u]sually there are from a dozen to forty women really involved in every murder.” There is no specific meaning in these numbers, but they are clearly absurd and hyperbolic and should be viewed in the light of the Easterner’s previous statement that “[e]very sin is the result of a collaboration.” Some critics view this as an affirmation of the necessity for brotherhood in a viable society; others find a naturalistic outlook that confirms the irresponsibility of the individual in a world he did not create and cannot control; still others see the ending as a flaw resulting from the contradiction btween the obvious culpability of the Swede in bringing about his own death and the Easterner’s insistence that everyone was responsible. –Stanley Wertheim, 4-13-04“An Episode of War”: Criticism?

QUESTION: I am writing a research paper on Stephen Crane’s An Episode of War. I am looking for texts with critiques and criticisms on this work. Can anyone help me? Andy Adams andyadams55@hotmail.com 3-30-04

You can check the bibliographies at this site for references to specific articles and books.Crane’s Use of Color

QUESTION: What is the point behind the use of color in Crane’s stories?Angie Piliposian Aghavni1@aol.com


“The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”: Scratchy and Wilson switch roles?

QUESTION: My question is in regards to “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”. What about the possiblity of switching the roles of Wilson and Scratchy; Wilson representing the hold out of the west and Scratchy as the eastern influence. In a broader sense could the story itself not be about the death of the old west but the preservation of it (as natural beauty and untouched land not a way of life.) If Scratchy represented industrial use of the west’s natural resouces would Wilson represent Teddy Roosevelt? Yellow Stone Park was created around the time the story was written; from a historical/cultural approach would these points not be viable? Has anyone heard of an interpretation like this?

Kevin Vonk

kvonk@earthlink.net 3-2-04

Summarize a story, please

QUESTION: Would you summarize the story “The Bride Comes to Yello Sky”, written bye Stephen Crane? babyphuong81


“The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” is summarized in The Stephen Crane Encyclopedia. In the story, the newly married Marshall Jack Potter returns to his home town of Yellow Sky, Texas, with his new bride. Scratchy Wilson, a desperado in his own mind, confronts Potter for a traditional Western showdown, but Wilson, perplexed by the fact of Potter’s marriage, walks away.QUESTION: Where can I find Crane, Stephen. “Stephen Crane’s Own Story” The New York Press, January 7, 1897. online?

Jessi stillcontent@aol.com 3-2-04

The article is available at http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/lewiss/CraneStory.htm“The Open Boat”QUESTION: i am reading the open Boat and i have hard time to answer this question how the correspondent changes as a result of being shipwrecked? is that becasue i didn’t belive in God or what? thank you


Stephen Crane and American LiteratureQUESTION: I have to write a paper about Stephen Cranes contribution to American literature, and I am haveing trouble finding web sites or recources to use. I was wondering if anyone new of any good places to look for the information I need.Jenny Wagner





QUESTION: what r some of the critical responses that where given about this book
joshua isley whiteysluck06@msn.com


Which book? Do you mean The Red Badge of Courage? You can find reviews of this and other works atreviews.htm“Opium’s Varied Dreams”

QUESTION: I would like to know more critics about opium’s varied dreams. Because I get a assigment on this
follomee Dieujuste follomeedieujuste@hotmail.com

Thank You 2/5/04

Sinking of the Commodore

QUESTION: I am attempting to find the article written by Stephen Crane for the New York Journal about his experience with the sinking of the Commodore.  How do I get from here to there. Valerie 2/4/04

Here is the reference: Crane, Stephen. “Stephen Crane’s Own Story.” The New York Press, January 7, 1897.

You can find this in many collections of Crane’s works, including the Library of America edition. This edition should be readily available in most public libraries.


Questions Replies
Characters in The Red Badge of CourageQUESTION: Who are the main people in The Red Badge of Courage? What part did they play in the war and how did Henery know them?Shana MAthis Shanabug@charter.net


“A Dark Brown Dog”I am writing a paper on the short story A Dark Brown
Dog…there is not much information on this story so i have a few
questions.1. What is the meaning of the story?
2. What events if any in Crane’s life influenced the story?
3. Why does he not describe the setting, but goes into detail about the
characters thoughts?Pattie 12/1/03
QUESTION: i have a few questions……
1. What was the excat date of Mr.Crane’s birth and death??
2. what was the accomplishments/schooling??
3. What was his family life/background like??
4. Motavation for writing??
5. Novels/stories he has wrote??allison11/9/03
These are questions that can be easily answered by looking at an encyclopedia article on Stephen Crane or by reading one of the books written about his life, such as The Crane Log or Badge of Courage. He was born on November 1, 1871 and died on June 5, 1900.
Short Story about Two Soldiers?I am looking for a short story by Stephen Crane about two men in the American Civil war. They are friends walking along a road, and when it comes time to choose which way to go they go separate ways. Any suggestions are most welcome!Tricia Rees 11/2/03
Criticism on PoemDoes anyone have any critiques about the poem “A man feared that he might find an assassin?”Jillian Yarter 11/2/03
Criticism on Crane and ExistentialismHello Professor Wertheim… I am a graduate student at William Paterson University… I’m having a hard time finding any articles (in journals or books) that may discuss the existential aspect of Crane’s Open Boat (or Maggie, Blue Hotel, Bride/Yellow Sky)… Are you aware of any publications that have approached an existential reading of Crane? Thank you… Assunta Trischka 10/21/03******

i just wanted to say thank you to dr. wertheim for the reply to my crane/existentialism question… i have read the buitenhuis article, and one or two others… i just thought there’d be so much more… anyway, i very much appreciate his thoughtful response… assunta trischka 11/2/03

The English Department at William Paterson University rarely allowed me to get close to graduate students, so I am grateful for this singular opportunity.Since Crane often stressed the importance of chance and environmental factors in determining human destiny, he is more often associated with naturalism than with existentialism which stresses freedom of choice and individual responsibility. Nevertheless, during the height of the Existentialist movement in the 1950s and early 1960s, critics often noted that in works such as Maggie and The Red Badge romantic illusions and false values more than the external environment influence the actions of Crane’s characters. This point of view was applied especially to “The Blue Hotel,” where it is apparent that the Swede’s paranoia and misconceptions in large part create the environment that destroys him. In their study of “The Open Boat” critics also found that Crane was as compelling as Camus in his treatment of the themes of initiation into an indifferent universe and the necessity for social cohesion. See especially Peter Buitenhuis. “The Essentials of life: ‘The Open Boat’ as Existentialist Fiction.” Modern Fiction Studies 5 (1959): 243-50. You should be able to find the journal containing this essay in the William Paterson library, if the librarians haven’t “weeded” it yet.–Stanley Wertheim
“The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”: Autobiographical?QUESTION: I am writing a fiction essay by September 26th on Stephen Crane on the story, The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky. The topic of the essay is to state whether or not most of what he wrote in that story is autobiographical or not. Any information that can be provided or direction to where to do some research will be appreciated. Nilsa N. Clarke 9/15/03
Authoritative Biography of Crane?I was wondering if someone could tell me what the most authoritative biography of Stephen Crane is.Christopher Geglia cgeglia@radford.edu
***********QUESTION: Which Biography is the most authoritative? Benfry or Davis? bailey


The best and most factually accurate book is The Crane Log by Paul Sorrentino and Stanley Wertheim. If you would like to read a narrative account to get a sense of Crane’s life, you might also try Linda Davis’sBadge of Courage.
–Donna Campbell
Influences on Stephen CraneI need to know 3 major influences that inspired Stephen Crane!!! PLEASE HELP!!!Thanks in advance.
Crane’s Middle NameQUESTION: What’s stephen crane’s middle name?5/12/03 You can find the answer to this by looking in any of the Crane biographies or The Crane Log. None of these sources lists a middle name.
“The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” I need of information about the Work The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky of Stephen Crane, this information that about tha characteristics of Realism and Naturalism in the workRenata, rennatafiuza@yahoo.com.br4-14-03
Crane and Literary ImpressionismI’m curious about Crane’s relation to literary impressionism; does anyone know how and why he became branded as such, and how it is evident in his works?
Austin Johnson, austinismyname@hotmail.com
You might try James Nagel’s Stephen Crane and Literary Impressionism (Penn State U P, 1980).Some other works on Crane and literary impressionism are listed in the current bibliography and the 1980-1995 bibliography. You can also find these by using the Search  feature at this site. After you find the page or pages, use your browser’s Find feature (under Edit, Find in Internet Explorer) to search the page for the term impressionism.
How Many Works Did Crane Complete?I am doing a research paper, and I need to know how many completed works that Stephen Crane wrote in his life time?? Can anyone please help. Tina, tinabyates@aol.com4-5-03
Resources on “An Episode of War”QUESTION: I am a college senior. I am writing a paper on Stephen Crane’s “An Episode of War.” I was wondering where I can find more resources on the subject. What about the imagery of the glass arm? Is it a direct link to Crane’s view of wars in general? Sasha, 3/19/03 The Search  feature shows that there are some articles in the 1980-1995 bibliography on this subject. Also, you might try Chester L. Wolford’s Stephen Crane: A Study of the Short Fiction. (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1989), , Michael W. Schaefer’s A Reader’s Guide to the Short Stories of Stephen Crane. (New York and London: G.K. Hall, 1996), or The Stephen Crane Encyclopedia. .
Color in Crane’s WritingHello- I need help with figuring out a way that i can write a research paper about the use of color in his writing- I know that he use very decriptive words about color and how it all blends together, but it has to be argumentative and I am not sure how to do that- some information about this would be great or where I can find something about this- thanks- boksBradley Bokal 3/19/03
Crane, God, and DeismQUESTION: i’m writing a paper on deism and Crane’s work and life. I was looking for information supporting what religious beliefs Crane may have held. His work, especially his poetry, seemed to showed a deistic view of the world and God. Deism is the belief in God being responsible for the creation of the universe, but other than that he doesnt really do anything. Do you know of any information i could use for my paper or am i completely off the mark with this thesis?Abigail D. Gastaldi, wateverlolawntz@hotmail.com
Crane did not share the anthropomorphic, omnipotent conception of God held by his Methodist forbears, and some of his poems reflect the deistic conception that whatever force created the universe somehow lost or relinquished control of a creation that subsequently degenerated into purposelessness and chaos. This is reflected in the following poem from The Black Riders:
God fashioned the ship of the world carefully
With the infinite skill of an All-Master
Made He the hull and the sails,
Held He the rudder
Ready for adjustment.
Erect stood He, scanning His work proudly.
Then-at fateful time-a wrong called,
And God turned, heeding.
Lo, the ship, at this opportunity,
slipped slyly,
Making cunning noiseless travel down the ways.
So that, forever rudderless, it went upon the seas
Going ridiculous voyages,
Making quaint progress,
Turning as with serious purpose
Before stupid winds.
And there were many in the sky
Who laughed at this thing.–Stanley Wertheim 
Controlling Metaphor in “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”
QUESTION: I’m doing an assignment on “The bride comes to yellow sky”, but i can’t seem to find the controlling metaphor… please help! Susan
Some of the questions and answers on this page may help you to find the answer to this question.
Crane and RealismI am doing a research paper on Steven Crane. I have to write about his use of realism and naturalism, and his use of war themes. Can you offer me anything good on these topics? I having problems finding a good starting place.Ciera Allen
Funnel-shaped tracksQUESTION: I am doing a presentation concerning the last sentence of “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”:
“His feet made funnel-shaped tracks in the heavy sand.” I need to know what the significance of this sentence is to the naturalistic theme.
Please help. Jennifer L., jenel21@aol.com
Stanley Wertheim’s overall take on the story seems to make sense. Along these lines, in spite of the fact that the guys cowering in the bar had well-established hiding places, I believe that highly dangeorus Scratchy is described, more or less, as “the last of his kind.”The notion that a “Wild West” marshal would take a wife suggests that his town had achieved a level of tranquility and domesticity perhaps not seen before. The first part of the story focuses a lot on how shocked the town was going to be when they learn that Potter had, essentially, eloped.And so, does that mean that Wild West marshals had typically been single…??

Steve Vitoff
vitoffs at aol.com 6/21/07

QUESTION: I am a high school sophomore & I am required to write a research paper on Stephen Crane. One of the requirements is to find 3 main influences why he wrote “The Red Badge of Courage”. The 3 I came up with are newspaper articles, conversations with war veterans & the book “Battles & Leaders of the Civil War”. Now I need specific examples such as the name of the newspapers, the name of some of the veterans & where to get a copy of the book. I have looked everywhere & am hoping you can help me. My project is due within the next week. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
Criticism on Crane’s PoetryQUESTION: I am writing a paper comparing some of the war poetry of Stephen Crane to the war poetry of Galway Kinnell. Part of the assignment is to find literary criticism on the poets and I am having trouble. Almost everything seems to be about Red Badge of Courage and his other stories. I am specifically looking for something written on the poems begining “Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind” and “All-feeling God, hear in the war-night”(Both from War is Kind). I am starting to wonder whether there is anything out there, but anything anyone has come across would be of great help.Adam, Zarquant@aol.com You might want to try The Poetry of Stephen Crane by Daniel Hoffman (1956) and Joseph Katz’s edition of Crane’s poems. Several dissertations from the late 1960s and early 1970s deal with Crane’s poetry, and it is mentioned in other criticism.
Why is the poem sometimes spelled The Red Badge of Courage, and others, THE RED BANDGE OF COURAGE? (Notice that the second one is in all caps, and “badge” has an “N” in it.)
Mark Abbey-Lambertz,
Mark53189@aol.com (my e-mail address)
“Bandge” is an incorrect spelling (probably a typo) for “badge.”

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