Describe the newly married couple in "The Bride Comes To Yellow Sky" by Stephen Crane.

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carol-davis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jack Potter, the sheriff of Yellow sky, takes a wife.  This will be big news in his town.  Potter went all the way to San Antonio to marry his bride.  In “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” by Stephen Crane, the author introduces his characters humorously. The story is divided into four sections which establish a chronological order for the story which has a third person limited omniscient point of view.

The first section of the story presents the newlywed couple.  The bride is described as being “not very pretty nor very young.” Both of them were dressed in new and uncomfortable clothes. The bride was especially unhappy about her puff sleeves which she thought drew looks as she boarded the train to Yellow Sky. It seems wherever they turn, someone is laughing at the couple’s newness and awkwardness with each other.

Concerned about the costs of the train ride, the bride tries to stop her husband from spending so much on their meal in the dining cost.  The meal will cost a $1.00.  Potter tells his bride that on this trip there was nothing that he would spare for their enjoyment.

The bride pulls out her new watch that Potter has given her.  He takes pride in his gift as he looks tenderly at her. The couple flirt with each other in a coquettish manner which brings smiles to those who observe their exchange. It is apparent that the couple have been intimate but really do not know each other very well. 

As the train draws closer to his town, the sheriff begins to worry that he should have told the town about his bride.

“What’s worrying you, Jack?”

He laughed again. “I’m not worrying, girl.  I’m only thinking of Yellow Sky?”

She flushed in comprehension.

A sense of mutual guilt invaded their minds and developed a finer tenderness.  They looked at each other with eyes aglow.  But Potter often laughed the same laugh. The flush upon the bride’s face seemed quite permanent.

He thought of sending the town a telegram, but he knew they would have the brass band playing and a crowd to receive them.

When they arrive at Yellow Sky, the sheriff decides to receive the town at his house.  He takes his bride and puts her arm through his and hurries to his house hoping that no one will notice.  As they walk rapidly to his house, they laugh together awkwardly and guiltily.  The only thing that hinders them is a brief encounter with Wilson who surprisingly goes away when he discovers the newlyweds.

Their relationship is new and based on a desire to be married. With their new intimacy, they feel a certain discomfort in other people sharing the knowledge that they are married.  Hopefully, this will soon go away when the townspeople come to greet the bride of Yellow Sky. 

Read the study guide:
The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

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