The Blue Hotel

Topics: Human, Gambling, Fear Pages: 3 (951 words) Published: February 28, 2007
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. The story is superbly enhanced through Crane¡¯s use of setting to develop mood, to create irony, and to make nature foreshadow or imitate human actions. The Swede comes to the Blues Hotel with the assumption that he will witness, if not be involved in, robberies and murders. The Swede was already experiencing inner fears about the West and when he was invited to join a friendly card game with Johnnie and the other customers of the Blue Hotel, his fears were heightened. When Scully calmed the Swede's nerves by giving him something to drink, the Swede undergoes a complete transformation and becomes what he considers to be a Westerner. The drinking, according to Weiss, returns the Swede to his original fears, but this time he isn't afraid, he is "cannibalistic", devouring his opponents and becoming very aggressive. He began "board-whacking" and eventually accused Johnnie of cheating. Weiss states that the card game was a "benign way for him to work off his aggressions harmlessly." However when Johnnie started cheating, the reality of crime and gambling set in and "the cheating restore the game to the world of outlaws, professional gamblers, and gunmen." After the two fought and the Swede was triumphant, the Swede went on to the local saloon where he picked a fight and was killed by a professional gambler. The Swede was experiencing a high on power and liberation when he ordered the other men in the bar to drink with him. When he is stabbed, the Swede returns to his earlier disposition as a...
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