What is the moral of story, "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky?"

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The moral of the story "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" is that eras are destined to end.

An author who filled his exposition with details, Crane suggests the changes coming to the era of the Wild West with his first sentence:

The great Pullman was whirling onward  with such dignity of motion that a glance from the window seemed simply to prove that the plains of Texas were pouring eastward.

--The train certainly symbolizes progress and the mention of Texas as approaching the East suggests that there will soon be similarities between the two areas.

--The town's name of Yellow Sky suggests the end of this town as it has been in a state of decay (symbolized by the color of yellow) from the old Wild West town that it once was. In the West sheriffs remained single so that they would not feel pulled by other forces.

--The occupants of the saloon are defensive rather than aggressive as people in the Old West would have been about the approach of the drunken Scratchy Wilson, who uses his six shooters irresponsibly when he imbibes.

--Jack Potter, the sheriff, worries about returning home with a wife because he has not told anyone that he has left to be married.

--The anachronistic Scratchy Wilson, the terror of the town, wears a maroon shirt fashioned by Jewish women in New York. His voice has "no relation to the ordinary vocal strength of a man." He has previously had confrontations with Sheriff Jack Potter, but neither man is dead, so these duels are not what is traditional.

--When the drunken Scratchy comes into contact with Potter, the sheriff informs him that he is married and does not have a gun on him. He tells Potter, "Well I 'low it's off, Jack. The bride represents to Scratchy domestication, religion, family, social gatherings, clean clothes and good manners.
Indeed, when Scratchy is informed that Potter is married, he looks at the ground. He walks off without firing a shot. "Is this,--is this the lady?" Then he says,"Well, I 'low it's off, Jack" said Wilson. He ends the durel without firing a shot.

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The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

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