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The Blue Hotel

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Jennifer Kim

on 4 June 2013

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Transcript of The Blue Hotel

"The Blue Hotel" By Stephen Crane Historical Context Plot Summary Tone & Attitude Symbols & Motifs Themes Author's Commentary Setting Fort Romper, Nebraska
The Palace Hotel or the "The Blue Hotel"
Weather is frigid: heavy snow and wind
The "West," according to the Swede
Late 1890s Character
Analysis Pat
Scully The Swede Minor Characters Johnnie Cowboy Gambler "He strode toward the men nervously, as if he expected to be assaulted" (Crane 114) Protagonist
Dynamic / Round
Lived in New York for 10 years
Foreigner and a newcomer to the West "this man has been reading dime-novels, and he thinks he's right out in the middle of it -- the shootin' and stabbin' and all" (Crane 118). "the Swede fizzed like a fire-wheel. He sometimes seemed on the point of bursting into riotous song" (Crane 120). The Swede's actions are dictated by what he believes the West to be like, instead of what it really is. He expects violence from the people in town
He trusts the Easterner because he, too, is not from the West The Swede is representative of those not from the West, who see the West in the form of stereotypes and through second hand knowledge The Swede believed that he had to act a certain way to "fit in" in respect to Western society. He makes a point of acting tough, because that is what he believes is respected Owner of the Blue Hotel
Static / Round
Calm, Polite, Accommodating The hotel "was always screaming an howling in a way that made the dazzling winter landscape of Nebraska seem only a gray swampish hush."

The small room was a "temple for the enormous stove that hummed with godlike violence." Allyson
Maeve Ominous and Weary Eerie Need for Caution Economy industralization
beginning of cars, moving pictures, telephones
lassize faire economics
lack of regulation (corruption)
railroads, factories, coal mining
paved way for progressive era Politics gilded age (following reconstruction)
"wealth of the nations"- self regulated
senate (r); house (d)
high voter turnout
afl, pullman strike, american union strike
spoils system (tammney hall, boss tweed)
conflicts of interest
knights of labor- haymarket square riot Society "gay nineties" (1890s)
mauve decade
art nouveau
sharp divions- moral/free thinkers
urbanization-north; rural- south
jim crow laws, beginnings of womens rights
social darwinism
new immigration: mostly poor, overcrowding tennments:Chinese, Polish, Jewish, Eastern Europe Author: Stephen Crane novelist, poet, journalist, realist, naturalism, impressionsm Early Life November 1, 1871-June 5, 1900
raised by Protestant Parents
worked as a journalist
Lafayette Univeristy and Syracuse
moved to New York to live the Boheme Lifestyle
Bowery Slums- "Maggie; A Girl on the Streets"
Red Badge of Courage- Civil War
Detached and critical- naturalism Later Years Cuba war correspondent- ship wreck
The Open Boat
short stories in England while dying
Cora Taylor
Germany Historical Connections in the Story Gender
Attitudes Toward Race
Wild West
Attitude Towards Law Wolfish glare
Flame-lit eyes The men "plunged into the tempest as into a sea"

The snow "flung to its grave in the south" Forbidding Brutal Animosity (towards Swede) "We, five of us, have collaborated in the murder of this Swede... [the Cowboy], [the Easterner], Johnnie, old Scully, and that fool of an unfortunate gambler came merely as a culmination" People reluctant to changing their beliefs are susceptible to being harmed by them The true character of a person is not visible to those who do not know him The Gambler: "...scrutiny of the group would not have enabled an observer to pick the gambler from the men of more reputable pursuits" "...this thieving card-player was so generous, so just, so moral, that, in a contest, he could have put to flight the consciences of nine-tenths of the citizens of Romper" "The Swede answered [Scully] swiftly and eagerly: "These men are going to kill me." "Finally, with a laugh and a wink, [The Swede] said that some of these Western communities were very dangerous; and after his statement he straightened his legs under the table, tilted his head, and laughed again, loudly" "Yes, I like this weather. I like it. It suits me." It was apparently his design to impart a deep significance to these words. "'But' said the cowboy, deeply scandalized, 'this ain't Wyoming, ner none of them places. This is Nebrasker.'

'Yes," added Johnnie, 'an' why don't he wait till he gits out West?'

The traveled Easterner laughed. 'It isn't different there even -- not in these days. But he thinks he's right in the middle of hell'" After fighting Johnny, a "Westerner:" "'What? You won't drink with me, you little dude! I'll make you then! I'll make you!' The Swede had grasped the gambler frenziedly at the throat, and was dragging him from his chair...there was a great tumult, and then was seen a long blade in the hand of the gambler...the Swede fell with a cry of supreme astonishment" Exposition (I, II) Rising Action (II-VIII) "At last, Scully, elaborately with boisterous hospitality, conducted them through the portals of the blue hotel"

"If anybody has troubled you I will take care of them. This is my house. You are under my roof..."

*Page 125, Section 7 Climax (IX) Falling Action (IX) The Swede, the Easterner and the Cowboy arrive at the Blue Hotel, led by Scully
Johnnie and the old man are introduced
The characters play cards The Swede believes he is going to be killed
The characters at the Palace Hotel play cards
Swede accuses Johnnie of cheating, they fight
The Swede beats Johnnie and leaves
The Swede arrives at a bar and is killed by the Gambler The Easterner admits Johnnie was actually cheating
The Easterner determines all five of them were responsible for the Swede's death "The cowboy, injured and rebellious, cried out blindly into this fog of mysterious theory. 'Well, I didn't do anythin', did I?'" (Crane 129). Easterner The Color Blue
Snow Storm
The Stove Kills the Swede
"Wolf in sheep's clothing"
Representative of the worst humanity has to offer, in the best of presentations "...when any one even suggested a discrepancy in his character, the crowd immediately vociferated descriptions of this virtuous family circle" (Crane 127). High-Five Stereotypes "There was a great tumult, and then was seen a long blade in the hand of the gambler. It shot forward, and a human body, this citadel of virtue, wisdom, power, was pierced as easily as if it had been a melon" (Crane 128). "The Palace Hotel at Fort Romper was painted a light blue, a shade that is on the legs of a kind of heron causing the bird to declare its position against any background"
"The entire prelude had in it a tragedy greater than the tragedy of action, and this aspect was accentuated by the long, mellow cry of the blizzard, as it sped the tumbling and wailing flakes into the black abyss of the south"
"...a proper temple for an enormous stove, which, in the centre, was humming with god-like violence" Son of Pat Scully
Wants more power than he has "Johnnie, his red face appearing above his father's shoulder, hailed the Swede agin. 'Did you say I cheated?' ...'Then' said Johnnie, 'we must fight.'" (Crane lines 136-139) Johnnie is quick to fight to protect his honor "Johnnie evidently felt that as the son of the proprietor he should make a direct inquiry. 'Now, what might you be drivin' at, mister?' he asked." (Crane lines 17-18) Johnnie often tries to intervene but does not have the same finess as his father If one expects to die in a lawless place, they will inevitably meet their death. Arrogance and aggression lead to a man's downfall. Johnnie cheats The Swede claims that he will be killed and brags about his fight The Gambler acts rashly and goes
to prison Many people think everybody else is in the wrong and that they have done nothing wrong "The cowboy, injured and rebellious, cried out blindly into this fog of mysterious theory: 'Well, I didn't do anythin', did I'" (Crane Lines 274-275) "'Yes, I'm crazy-yes. Yes of course, I'm crazy-yes. But know one thing-...I know I won't get out of here alive'"
"Suddenly, a holocaust of warlike desire caught the cowboy, and he bolted forward with the speed of a bronco. 'Go it, Johnnie! Go it! Kill him! Kill him!'"
"As for the Easterner, he was importuning in a voice that was not heeded: 'Wait a moment, can't you...whats the good of fighting over a game of cards'"
"'Did you say i cheated?'...'Then' said Johnnie, 'we must fight'"
"'We'll let them fight,' Scully answered stalwartly. 'I can't put up with it any longer. I've stood this damned Swede till I'm sick"

"They formed a square, with a little board on their knees. The Easterner and the Swede were again partners. As the play went on, it was noticeable was not board whacking as usual...then suddenly [Scully] heard three terrible words: 'You are cheatin'!'" The easterner fits the stereotypes of his people in this time period
but even he is not above hating the swede
he hides the fact that johnnie was cheating either because he wanted to see the swede get in a fight.
remember he's from the eastern U.S. not the far east patron of the inn
very silent but seems intelligent
although his action change his personality does not patron at the inn
very angry and rash
static/flat is the stereotypical cowboy prefers physical confrontation instead of dealing with people
does not understand the consequences of his actions
in many ways he is the sole instigator of the swedes demise The Swede
The Cowboy
The Easterner
Scully "We picture the world as thick with conquering and elate humanity, but here, with the bugles of the tempest pealing, it was hard to imagine a peopled earth" "Every sin is the result of a collaboration" "It shot forward, and a human body, this citadel of virtue, wisdom, power, was pierced as easily as if it had been a melon" "...its eyes fixed upon a dreadful legend that dwelt atop of the cash-machine: 'This registers the amount of your purchase'"
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