Student Queries 2005

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Student Queries 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2000-2002
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The Black Riders--interpretation
"The Snake"
Reviews of Crane's works
Color in The Red Badge of Courage
Crane's use of satire
Stephen Crane Award
Was Crane a pacifist?
Red Badge: Realism or Romanticism?
Getting Maggie published
"An Episode of War"
Meaning of "wind-demon"

Stephen Crane Himself

Hi, I am a student working on a Prose writers project and my author is Stephen Crane. Since I have to immerse myself into the character of this author, I was wondering if you could physically describe him and perhaps enlighten me on any unique quirks? If not, can you simply point me in the direction of photographs or paintings of or relating to him? Thank you.John Andreoni 12.31.05

The best way to get this information is to read one or more biographies of Crane; you can find some photographs of him here at the Crane Society site.

According to available accounts, Crane liked dogs and horses.

Crane's View of Religion

What was Stephen Crane's view of religion, and how is this reflected in the Red Badge Of Courage?

Kruti 12/14/05

Imagery in "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky"

How should one describe (specifically) the imagery in "The Bride comes to Yellow Sky?"

Elizabeth Fenney 12/14/05


Symbols of the East in "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky"

What are symbols of the East and how its affecting Texas in The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky?

Nancy 12/2/05

Here are some questions to help you find the answer in the text:

1. Do you see any references in the story to modes of travel or technology that might bring information or goods from the East?

2. How might the presence of such technologies or modes of travel affect the social dynamics of Yellow Sky?

3. Look at the references to Scratchy's clothing. What significance might this description have in light of your question?

Citing Crane's work

How do I cite the actual work of Stephen Crane The Bird Comes To Yellow Sky?
Angela Thomas 12/2/05

The citation format depends on the source from which you're citing. If you wanted to cite the copy from the Crane Society site, you could use one of the examples on the FAQ page. The Diana Hacker site has examples (#29 and #30). A citation would look something like this:

Crane, Stephen. "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky." The Open Boat and Other Stories. New York: Doubleday & McClure, 1898. The Stephen Crane Society Site. 2002. 2 December 2005. <http://>.

Crane's "The Successful Man . .. "

In Crane's poem "The Successful Man Has Thrust Himself", who is he refering to in that poem?

Rachel Dishman, 12/2/05

Information on "London Impressions"

: Hi, I'm an italian student in Rome of "languages and litterature".I'm translating "london impressions",one of the Stephen Crane's midnight sketches.
I need some bibliographical information,the date of publication and some information on where it was published at first and on following publications.
please answer me . thank you flavia


"London Impressions" is a series of eight short humorous impressions of London life that appeared serially in three successive issues of Frank Harris's Saturday Review on 31 July, 7 August, and 14 August 1897 and then were printed as "chapters" in the anthology Last Words (1902).

Stanley Wertheim, 11/26/05

Nellie Crouse and Maggie

Did Nellie Crouse have anything to do with the character, Nellie, from Maggie, a Girl of the Streets?Alex

No, Nellie Crouse has absolutely nothing to do with Nellie, the sophisticated prostitute in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, which was privately printed in March 1893. Nellie Crouse was a young girl Crane met at a tea party in January of 1895.
--Stanley Wertheim, 11/26/05

Is Scratchy Wilson gay?

I am writing a character analysis on Scratchy Wilson, and wanted to pursue the possibility of his being homosexual. There are several clues in the text that point in this direction, but I have been unable to find any other criticism or interpretations along these lines. Can you assist me in finding works regarding this? Thanks! Sherry 11/13/05

There is a difference between reading an interpretation out of a text and reading an interpretation into a text. In recent years it has become fashionable for students to interpret literary works in the light of current social shibboleths, ignoring their historical contexts.

There is nothing in "A Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" indicating that Scratchy Wilson is homosexual. The story deals in part with the rapid disappearance of the old West, where married women were a rarity. Scratchy's social life is confined to the company of men because there were few women other than prostitutes in Texas frontier towns. With the advent of the railroad, this condition is rapidly changing, and "[the] plains of Texas were pouring eastward . . . sweeping into the east, sweeping over the horizon, a precipice." The age of the cowboy and gunfighter is over. Scratchy age and mental condition prevent him from adapting to the modern circumstance of Jack Potter's marriage, and "in the presence of this foreign condition he was a simple child of the earlier plains."

--Stanley Wertheim, 11/26/05

"I Saw a Man"

I am trying to understand "I Saw A Man".  Is Crane siding with the speaker...the realist or the man doing the pursuing..the idealist.  I felt that he was siding with the idealist because of the words he uses to describe the feelings of the speaker.  However, in life it seems that Crane was a I am confused.
Jose Sebastian 11/13/05

Photographs of the Commodore?

Question: I have a question about the original newspaper article reporting the Commodore's accident and the men, including Crane, being in the lifeboat.
Do you have this? Were there any pictures?
Thank you,
Celia Jordan

We are working on an American Lit. book and in connection with The Open Boat would like to have a feature about Crane's real life experience with the USS Commodore.
Do you know if a picture of the actual newspaper story exists and how I might obtain it to use here?

> Thanks very much,
> Celia Jordan
> McDougal Littell


It is difficult to tell what is meant by the "original newspaper article" or the "actual newspaper story" describing the sinking of the Commodore and the experiences of the men in the dinghy fictionalized by Crane in "The Open Boat" since accounts appeared in newspapers all over the United States. Prominent coverage was, for example, given by the Florida Times-Union, the New York Press, and the Boston Globe. Crane's own eye-witness account was, at least in part, syndicated by Bacheller on 7 January 1897, four days after many other newspapers had carried the full story of the misadventure. If anyone aboard the Commodore had a camera, he was apparently too busy saving his life to take photographs, but illustrations accompanied most of the newspaper reports.
--Stalnely Wertheim, 11/21/05

Video of "The Open Boat"

Where can I locate a copy of the video entitled, "The Open Boat?"  Lesa Hildebtrand



"A Dark Brown Dog"

Why is it that there is nothing on this site regarding A Dark-Brown Dog? Before I'm told to follow a site,I suggest that one research that site before directing me to it, for I have been looking throughout this website, and I have followed sites that is suppose to have mention A Dark-Brown Dog, but I found NOTHING!
I am a student researching A Dark-Brown Dog, and I would like to know, if there are any different interpretations about this story or an analysis of some sort. It will be greatly appreciated.


The Crane Society site depends on volunteer contributions from scholars for its content. It is primarily a site for Crane scholars but also tries to help students by providing information. It is not a homework hotline and cannot provide such information on demand.

We don't have a paid staff, and we are not a library, which is your best source of information about Crane and criticism on his works. For good information on Crane, visit your local library and check out some of the many excellent books on Crane. The bibliographies should help you (look for books on his short fiction), as will the extensive answers given on our Queries and Student queries pages. You can also look at the answers on the FAQ page about finding more Crane resources online.

D. Campbell, 10/30/05

Crane's and Cora Crane's graves

10-30-05 The NJ star ledger newspaper states that Stephen Crane is buried at Evergreen Cemetery located in Hillside, NJ. I have his wife Cora E. Taylor buried at Evergreen Cemetery, Jacksonville, Florida. Crane is in my family tree, very distantly. Where is Crane buried?

Also, did he have a middlename?

glen pierce, whiting nj

Stephen Crane did not have a middle name.

Stephen Crane is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, New Jersey. Find-a-grave has a picture of Crane's grave.

Lillian Gilkes's biography of Cora Taylor (Crane) lists her burial place as Evergreen Cemetery, Jacksonville, Florida; the book includes a picture of the grave, with a headstone reading "Cora E. Crane, 1868-1910" (p. 356).

--D. Campbell 10/30/05

Phrase "red badge of courage"?

What was the meaning of the phrase "the red badge of courage"?



Here are some questions to help you think about how to answer this:

1. What color is blood?
2. When and why might a person bleed in battle?
3. Would a person be more likely to receive a wound when bravely charging the enemy or when staying safely behind?
4. A badge is an emblem that signifies something. How might some red blood on a white bandage thus signify a person's courage?

D. Campbell 10/25/05

"The Open Boat"

Can a does Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat" lend itself to a sociological critical analysis?
John Michaels 10-14-05


Crane's Journalism

I am a student of both Journalism and Sociology.
I have leisurely, as well as academically, studied realists and Crane in particular for about five years now.
I'm curious as to whether a collection of  Crane's periodical articles have ever been compiled and if so, where would I find that collection.

Jerrell Smith

The most comprehensive collection of Crane's journalism that I found is in Cady, Edwin H., ed. The University of Virginia Edition of the Works of Stephen Crane. vol. 8. Tales, Sketches, and Reports. Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1973. Michael Robertson, et al., also identifies 17 pieces as Crane's in his article for Stephen Crane Studies (9.2, Fall 2000). Crane's works are published with the article. It must be said that Robertson identifies the 17 new Crane articles by analyzing the articles' writing style. Many of the news articles Crane published did not have bylines, so it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to definitively identify them as his. Incidentally, Robertson also wrote a book regarding Crane and his journalistic world called Stephen Crane, Journalism, and the Making of Modern American Literature (NY: Columbia UP, 1997).

Jeff Paschke-Johannes, 10/4/05

Crane and the Lotus Club

Was Stephen Crane a member or an associate of the literary society known as the Lotus Club, located on the Upper East Side of New York City?

joseph spickard 9/20/05

No, Crane was not a member of the Lotus Club nor in anyway associated with it. However, The Lotus, one of the little magazines of the 1890s that was published for two years from November 1895 through November 1897, featured satire of writers and took particular jabs at Crane's poetry. This magazine is sometimes confused with The Lotos, another little magazine of the time that commented on writers, including Crane.

--Stanley Wertheim, 9/21/05

Nell in Maggie

The charater Nellie in Maggie, a girl of the streets" I see this charater a prehaps being a "higher" form of prostitute maybe a madame. Other's don't seem to agree with me. If she is not, what is her status.
Ami Knight


Nellie in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is not a madam. If she were, she would be called "Miss Nellie." Crane was aware of such
conventions. His later companion, who at various times used a number of last names including Howarth, Murphy, Stewart, Taylor, and Crane, was always simply known in Jacksonville as Miss Cora. Nellie is a superior form of prostitute in the sense that she is a foil to Maggie. Nellie is an experienced and hardened veteran rather than a "girl' of the streets. She is an important character in the novelette because she personifies the Darwinistic counter theme of the survival of the fittest. Just as Pete preys on and destroys Maggie, Nellie outwits and defeats Pete, whom she leaves in a sodden and destitute
--Stanley Wertheim, 9/20/05
Crane and Liviu Rebreanu

I want some help in making a comparison between the fear of battle in Crane and Liviu Rebreanu.Please help me!



Comment on Stephen Crane (no answer requested)

Crane wrote on paper and created a world and an era of time thats all gone. He Didn't write into any kind of expectation. You could take any story he wrote and turn it into a sreenplay,,or you could just enjoy it. The sun or breath of the waters edge Some people saw and felt it just the same as he felt it ...or wrote it,,
Say it's outa sight 1898 or so..geom geomumak@yahoo/com


Question on Red Badge

Question: when henry regiment charges the enemy, why do the men fail?


Crane's Siblings

Question: Whats Stephen's Sibling's names? Emily Colpitts 8/25/05

If you use the Search This Site feature, you can find this information on the Student Queries 2000-2002 page.

"A Self-Made Man"

Question: I'm teaching Crane's "A Self-Made Man" for a private class.  (I've already covered Joseph Conrad's "The Lagoon" and Irving's "Sleepy Hollow.")  The short stories this semester seem to be about the land and the individual who reflects the land.  Is Tin Can "real" in the same way as the Broadway railing?  Is it an illusion, or is it "Florida real-estate"?  

Thanks for your consideration.

Elizabeth Penrose

The hyperbolic tone of "A Self-Made Man" should make it apparent that this is a parody of the Horatio Alger rags-to-riches success story. There is nothing real about Tin Can, Nevada, or any of the other place names. Crane is saterizing here the popular American conception that the way to wealth is through audacity and luck rather than hard work.

--Stanley Wertheim, 8/25/05

Text of "The Ghost"?

I recently visited Brede Place and am trying to find a transcript of the pantomime "The Ghost" which I believe was written  jointly with other house guests in 1898. I would be most grateful if you could tell me where I could find this please?
Kind regards
Angie greenhalgh
Isle of Man

Only fragments of the script, seventeen pages including four of music, survive of this musical comedy performed only once in the Brede village schoolhouse on the evening of 28 December 1899 and never published. The only comprehensive account is in Jesse Crisler, "'Christmas Must be Gay': Stephen Crane's The Ghost a Play by Diverse Hands" in Proof: The Yearbook of American Bibliographical and Textual Studies. Ed. Joseph Katz. Vol 3. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1973. 62 120.

--Stanley Wertheim, 8/25/05

Ceramic tiles in Crane's house in New Jersey

I'm trying to find picture of Crane's house when he live in NJ. Somewhere on the house were large ceramic tiles showing images of The Black Riders. Someone I know purchased these tiles many years ago and I want to authenicate their place on his house. Any suggestions?

ray violini


To find out more about the Stephen Crane House Museum at 508 Fourth Avenue in Asbury Park, NJ, you can go to Or, see the photograph and extended caption on the house-turned-museum on p. 89 of my 1997 book "Images of America: Asbury Park". The new owner who continues to maintain the house as a museum is Frank D'Alessandro, a retired high school math teacher who serves on the Asbury Park Board of Education. Mr. D'Alessandro has done extensive research connecting Stephen's budding literary career to the various time periods he spent in Asbury Park. For still more data on the Crane years in Asbury Park, see "Stephen Crane: On the Boardwalk in New Jersey", a travel essay I contributed to "Literary Trips" Volume 2; Greatest Publishing, Vancouver.

Helen-Chantal Pike 7/10/05

"A Mystery of Heroism"

What is the theme of "A Mystery of Heroism"?

Lindsey 7/10/05


Naturalism in Maggie, A Girl of the Streets

I would like to know what naturalistic features can we find in Maggie and some specific examples about that features. Marian 7/10/05

Man waving his coat in "The Open Boat"

In The Open Boat, What significance does the man waving his coat have in the story?
Natalie Ball 6/28/05

Question: The answer to your question about the significance of the man waving his coat in "The Open Boat" can be found in the 2003 Queries under the title "Leper Colony in The Open Boat" (7/11/03).

--Stanley Wertheim, 9/20/05

The Black Riders--interpretation

QUESTION: I would like some help interpreting Line III of the black rider. This was read to me in grade school and it had an enormose impact on me. Now years laterI completed a work of art based on this poem and would to consider other interpretations. 5/18/05

Shaun Doll


Reviews of Crane's Work

Has a book been published that collects reviews on Stephen Crane's books?  I am looking, in particular, for book reviews of Maggie before The Red Badge of Courage was published.  I know that The Crane Log refers to a couple.  Where can I obtain complete copies (rather than excerpts) of these reviews?

Jeff Paschke-Johannes


Try Stephen Crane: The Critical Heritage, ed. Richard M Weatherford (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973). It contains contemporary reviews of Crane's work. You could also order those referred to in The Crane Log using Interlibrary Loan.

D. Campbell, 6/1/05

Color in The Red Badge of Courage

I am writing a paper on the use of color in The Red Badge of Courage. I have lots of books and articles on Stephen Crane and his work, but I have to come up with a way to connect all the dots and turn the information into a paper of about 20 pages. I have seen that questions of the same type as mine have been posted, but haven't seen any answers. Suggestions on how thesis statement would be appreciated.

Zaklina (from Sweden)


Crane's use of satire

I'm writing a research paper on Stephen Crane's use of satire, mainly his use of it in his poems that reflect his ideas about the relationship between people and God. I'm having trouble finding resources on his general use of it at all (other than specific stories), so if anyone can help me with any sites or publications, that would be great.

Sarah H. 4/5/05


"The Snake"

I'm desperately looking for information about a largely unknown short story by Stephen Crane, called "The Snake." There is barely anything in the Literature Reference books that I have access to, and I couldn't find anything about it online, either.
If you know where I can find  the necessary sources, or if you have self-acquired information yourself, please share your knowledge with me. Thank You!

Gregor Klemm 3/31/05

At times incorrectly identified as a Sullivan County sketch, "The Snake' is based on an incident when Crane and a friend killed a large black rattlesnake that crossed their path in Pike County, Pennsylvania.  The sketch was syndicated by Bacheller on 14 June 1896. "The Snake is informed by the primal apprehension also experienced in The Red Badge of Courage. As in the war novel  a commonplace event is endowed with metaphysical significance. A young man with a dog encounters a rattlesnake on a narrow path through the woods. Both man and snake confront one another with instinctive, primitive feelings of hatred and fear, a "deadly repulsion" that was "another detail of a war that had begun evidently when first there were men and snakes." A vicious battle ensues, the man battering the snake with a stick and the snake striking out with its fangs. Finally, the snake is beaten to death, and the sketch ends on an incongruously lighthearted note: "'Well, Rover,' said the man, turning to the dog with a grin of victory, 'we'll carry Mr. Snake home to show the girls.'"

--Stanley Wertheim, 6/1/05

Stephen Crane Award

I am trying to find some information on the Steven Crane Award program,  I am looking for the criteria to be nominated for the honor.  Can you be of help.  I would greatly appreciate it.  I am a student at Miami University of Ohio, in Oxford .  Thank you for your time.

Brenda Rosser 3/31/05


Was Crane a pacifist?

Was Stephen Crane a pacifist?

Joshua Harvey, 3/12/05


Red Badge: Realism or Romanticism?

Would "The Red Badge of Courage" be classified as realism/naturalism or romanticism/idealism? Hailey Casati 3/1/05


Getting Maggie Published

Hi, I'm a high school student doing a research paper on what the portrayal of poverty in work by Crane says about the role of an artist in American society, and I was wondering if you could offer any real background into the circumstances surrounding the publication of Maggie. I have biographies, critical readings, ect, but I'm having trouble locating an in-depth account of what he went through trying to get it published. I'd also be happy to hear anything off the top of your head that you think might pertain to my topic.

Jamie Pogue


"An Episode of War"

How does the facts that the lieutenant is rationing coffee at the time of his shooting contribute to the realistic quality of "An Episode of War"?
Bernita Harvey 2/10/05

Well, rationing coffee is about as mundane a task as one can imagine. In his war stories, one of Crane's main concerns is to deflate the heroic quality of armed conflict. In conventional nineteeenth-century war literature, soldiers who were shot in battle were usually performing some heroic action, such as leading a charge or carrying a banner. By having the lieutenant shot while rationing coffee, Crane undercuts the significance of military activity and, by implication, the glory of war itself.
--Stanley Wertheim, 2/12/05
Meaning of "wind-demon"?

At university I´m doing a work on Stephen Crane´s novel "Maggie: A girl of the streets." I was wondering what a "Wind- demon" and a "reader of sounds" are. (see: chapter 4). Are they the same?
It would be great if you could help me! It is very urgent!!
Thank you,
Lisa Hann 1/19/05
When Crane writes that "[a] reader of words of wind-demons might have been able to see the portions of a dialogue pass to and fro between the exhorter and his hearers" he is using metaphors to indicate that an observer using his imagination would perceive that the preacher and his audience are on different levels of perception, and that while he is attempting to convey what he believes to be an important theological edict, they are concerned only with  basic human needs.
--Stanley Wertheim, 2/12/05


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