How can I use the theme of the description of clothes as a thesis for "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky"?

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A thesis statement should describe the main thing you will argue in an essay. In this case, it seems like you will need to argue that the clothing of the bride in the story is somehow related to a theme.

A theme is when a story explores/concludes something true...

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A thesis statement should describe the main thing you will argue in an essay. In this case, it seems like you will need to argue that the clothing of the bride in the story is somehow related to a theme.

A theme is when a story explores/concludes something true about human nature or life. For example, the story “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” by Stephen Crane explores several topics like the dangers of alcohol over-consumption and the effects of civilizing elements on wild communities. To come up with a theme statement, explaining what the Crane shows us about the topic, you need to figure out how clothing is related to a lesson in the text.

Only a few articles of clothing are specifically mentioned: those of the groom (Jack Potter), the Bride, and Scratchy Wilson, the antagonist. I think for your theme development you should focus on the clothing of Jack and the bride. They wear traditional wedding clothes. Jack, in particular, wore a well-made suit: “From time to time he looked down respectfully at his suit.” From the context of the story, we can assume that it was a different kind of clothing than he normally wears. In Yellow Sky, a very rural town, it is unlikely that Jack would have worn anything nearly as nice or fancy as the suit—that figures into the theme very closely.

In the same way, the bride wears fancy clothing: “She wore a dress of blue with many buttons.” Her clothing is not in contrast to those in Yellow Sky, but rather shows where she comes from in the eastern part of Texas, a less wild part. The clothing both she and Jack wear show a contrast between the more civilized life in the East and the more wild and crazy life in the West (symbolized by Scratchy shooting everything).

Look to the end of the story to develop how the theme plays out, pay attention to how Scratchy changes his actions because of the presence of the bride, who is as much a symbol of high culture and civility as the dress she wears. Think about how that scene in the story is different from those the people in the bar tell the traveling salesman. In the difference between the two, you can show how the theme of civility and clothing develops in the story.

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Quite clearly this question relates to the way in which clothing is used by the narrator to give us key clues about character and the way that attire is a key indicator of the kind of person that wears it. You will obviously want to focus on the descriptions that the narrator gives us of the key characters and link those to their actions to support your thesis. A suitable thesis statement therefore might be as follows:

In "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," Crane uses clothing to reveal key aspects of character.

This will give you a focused statement that you can use to explore maybe three characters and their clothing, relating it to what they say and do. Certainly the "maroon-coloured flannel shirt" of Scratchy is an excellent example of the way in which his virulent fashion sense corresponds with his virulent character!

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