Answering Identification Questions
Click on the correct answer
Which of the following answers would be the best one to write under "significance"? Why?
The stove is important in the story because all the men gather around it and cannot leave the room. This contributes to their inability to get along.
The stove is in the middle of the room where the men play cards in Crane's story.
The stove dominates the main room of Scully's Palace Hotel. Its heat contrasts with the cold outside and shows the men's dependence upon Scully and his hotel to keep warm. It shows that men must be civilized and get along with one another if they are to survive against the cold of nature.
The stove, which is "humming" inside, represents the men and their violent natures, which are only barely kept under control. Its glowing points suggest that the forces within it are about ready to burst through, which parallels the tensions within the men who are clustered around it. It contrasts with the cold blizzard outside.
The "enormous" stove, a central symbol in the story, represents the men and their barely controlled violent natures. Its glowing points suggest that the forces within it are about ready to burst through the thin iron covering, a symbol of the tensions about to burst within the men who are clustered around it. The heat of the stove is thus seen ironically not as comforting but as violent, like the equally extreme cold of the blizzard. The "godlike" stove does not encourage the peacefulness that is usually associated with the cultural symbol of the hearth; rather, it suggests that violence within the hotel matches the violent storm outside.