Yellow Sky Essay, Research Paper
In the mockery of a Western type story, Stephen Crane?s ?The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky? has a simple story line with great meaning against inflexibility. With outlandish humor Crane takes the town of Yellow Sky and their marshal Jack Potter through the change of time, proving nothing can stay stagnant. ?The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky? is an ironic comedic literary archetype.
The characters of Crane?s story closely resemble one?s found in an ironic comedy with no central character. Jack Potter plays the role of the Knight to the town of Yellow Sky. The bartender at the Weary Gentlemen?s saloon mentions that Potter is ?the town marshal? and ?he goes out and fights Scratchy when he gets on one of these tears.? However Jack?s knightly standing is not so appreciated by the fellows on the train back from San Antonio. Jack is actually pushed and ?bullied? around yet he does not recognize any of it. Jack Potter is too much in love with his new wife, but not too much that he doesn?t realize what Yellow Sky is going to think about him not getting their approval to marry. This shows Jack as not only an ironic knight but also a young lover commonly found in literary comedies.
Scratchy Wilson seems to be the dragon. With the knight out of town, Scratchy takes to the drink and then to the streets with two skillful weapons in hand. The gentleman in the bar scurry with fear that Scratchy will fill the saloon with his carefully aimed bullets. The kingdom of Yellow Sky is fearful of Scratchy as he looms in the streets calling for a fight with his ?fire? in hand.
The Bartender of the Weary Gentleman?s saloon has references to being a bard, a storyteller. When the traveling salesman asks questions because he is unfamiliar with the strange practices of the town, the bartender tells him about the routine fights between Porter and Scratchy. Thus fulfilling his role as a storyteller.
The setting of ?The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky? has an ironic pattern seen in some literary comedy pieces. Commonly encountered in this piece is the verbal irony. The narrator gives a very sarcastic viewpoint when the drummer questions the strange tradition in the town of Yellow Sky that gives the impression of a stereotypical western town. ?What?s this?? His three companions made the introductory gesture of eloquent speech;” an obvious reference to a contradictory action than what is said. A second instance of verbal irony occurs in the first section of the story with Jack Potter and his wife, when ?The pair fell to the lot of a waiter who happened to feel pleasure in steering them through their meal.? Again a reference to poking fun at one of the lead characters for amusement.
Situational irony follows the story until the end where it becomes clear that what is expected to happen does not. Scratchy decides he must find his sworn enemy to fight as they routinely do. Scratchy is unaware that Jack Potter was out of town, so finds Jack?s house and fills it with ?wonderful epithets? and fire from his gun. Scratchy and Jack surprise each other when Potter tries to sneak back into his house. With his fire drawn, Scratchy challenges Potter who has no shield or weapon to defend himself with. There is no showdown, which was expected at the end of the story.
The plot of Crane?s story shows the type of social inclusion and birth of a new society seen in most comedy archetypes. Yellow Sky?s social inclusion is the rigidity of the community. Jack Potter refers to that community as a judgmental collective by ? . . . actually [inducing] her to marry him without consulting Yellow Sky.? Potter looks back at his decision as an ?extraordinary crime? because he acted on ?impulse? and had gone ?headlong over all social hedges.? The social hedges Potter speaks about is the rigidity of Yellow Sky that Jack Potter broke while he was in San Antonio.
The social inclusion may be even better illustrated in the Weary Gentleman?s saloon. The drummers viewpoint as a foreigner to the area shows how rigidly Yellow Sky has fixed itself in the image of a Western without explicitly saying so to show the refusal to change with the time. When the drummer questions the bartender he replies that Jack Potter is the ?town marshal [and] he goes out and fights Scratchy when he gets on one of these tears.? Showing a patterned event, the social inclusion of Yellow Sky.
The birth of the new society occurs at the end of ?The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky? when the two pivotal characters, Scratchy and Potter finally come face to face. Scratchy expects to finally settle the score between himself and potter, which potter is presently unaware of until he finds Scratchy?s gun in his chest. Scratchy expects Jack to have a gun on him and when he finds out in fact that Jack does not have what he had expected. The birth of the new society is born. What had been expected did not occur, so Scratchy turned around and the change of time walked into Yellow Sky.
There are obvious references to sarcasm and humor at the misfortune of others in Crane?s story. Each character in this story also represents a mock version of the types of people each represents. ?The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky? is a comedy with the birth of a new society with much resistance from the rigidity of those set in their ways in the small town of Yellow Sky.