Stephen Crane the Naturalist

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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 studied. After schooling at Lafayette College and Syracuse University, he worked in New York as a freelance journalist. His short stories and experimental poetry, also anticipated the ironic realism of the decades ahead. In his brief and energetic life, he published fourteen books while acting out, in his personal adventures, the legend of the writer as soldier of fortune. Among one of his works include "The Blue Hotel." "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 three men, a cowboy, an easterner, and a Swede 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. The moment that the Swede arrives at the "The Blue Hotel" it is somehow, in the Swedes mind, transformed into a wild west hotel, by the many dime novels he has read, which made him even more uneasy about staying at the hotel. In one of the initial scenes his fear is evident as the nervous Swede announces that he knows that he wont get out of there alive. The Swedes fear of dying had made him want to leave the hotel, but Pat Scully, the owner of the Blue Hotel, attempted to get him to stay by showing him around the hotel and showing him pictures of his family. Scully shows the Swede some pictures of his children "That's a picture of my little girl that died. Her name was Carrie. She had the purtiest hair you ever you ever saw! I was fond of her, she—"(Katz 12). Stephen Crane's use of color in the episode helps to point out a pattern of death. Scully and the Swede first walk into a dark room and while Scully speaks of his deceased daughter the Swede is focusing on the shadows in the darker part of the room. The Swede fears everything in the hotel, so Scully offers him some whiskey, which of course the Swede believes is poisoned. After proving to the Swede the whiskey is fine the Swede then takes it. The whiskey he gives the Swede does loosen him up. The Swede begins to drink more and more. Soon there after he joins a card game and where he proclaims that Johnnie, Scully's son, has been cheating. The Swede feels that the only way to right the wrongs of Johnnie's cheating is to fight. Ironically the street is covered in a fine white virgin snow as the spectators chanted "kill him Johnnie kill him" (21). In this scene the Swede thought that the gang of spectators would kill him, however, Scully made it so that only he and Johnnie would fight. As with most of the story the Swede was fearful of fighting

Johnnie, he feared Johnnie would beat him and he feared that the crowd would kill him. The Swede wins. Crane now sets up what starts the Swedes "death march." Having beaten the hotel owner's son the Swede decides to leave. However the Swede, still under the influence of the whiskey, stops at a local saloon where he wants to celebrate with his victory. When he finds that no one will celebrate with him he grasped the gambler frenziedly at the throat, and was dragging him from his chair...then was seen a long blade in the hand of the gambler. It shot forward, and a human body…was pierced as easily as if it had been a melon (28). The Swedes limp body fell...
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