Stephen Crane was one of the United States foremost naturalists in the late 1800's ("Stephen" n.p.). He depicted the human mind in a way that few others have been capable of doing while examining his own beliefs. Crane was so dedicated to his beliefs that one should write about only what they personally experience that he lived in a self-imposed poverty for part of his life to spur on his writings (Colvert, 12:108). Crane's contribution to American Literature is larger than any one of his books or poems. All parts of Crane's life greatly influenced, or were influenced by his writings, whether it was his early life, formal education, writing career, or later years ("Stephen" n.p.).
Stephen Crane was born in Newark, New Jersey on November 1, 1871. He was the last of fourteen children of a Methodist minister, Jonathan Townley, and Mary Helen Peck ("Stephen" n.p.). Being a minister, his father greatly influenced his ideas and attitudes towards writing. His father was a kind minister, but his mother believed that God was a God of wrath. The effects of his preoccupation with faith are evident in most of Crane's work, Throughout his writings he tried to shake the thought that God was wrathful (Colvert, 12:101).
Stephen Crane began his formal education at a military school where he studied the Civil War and military training ("Stephen" n.p.). After military school he proceeded to attend Lafayette College in the fall of 1890 where he played baseball. Eventually, he was forced to withdraw from Layette because he refused to do any work. After leaving Lafayette, he moved on to attend Syracuse University, where he also played baseball, and wrote for his brother's news service (Colvert 12:102). It is said that Crane wrote the preliminary sketch of his novella, Maggie, while at Syracuse. He eventually decided to quit school and become a full time reporter for the New York Tribune ("Stephen" n.p.)....
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