What is the blue hotel like in Stephen Crane's story "The Blue Hotel"? 

What is the blue hotel like in Stephen Crane's story "The Blue Hotel"?

 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The hotel, known as the Palace Hotel, is painted the blue which matches the leg of a certain heron (probably the Little Blue Heron), and it stands alone on the prairie. This hotel is the first building sited by the traveler who steps down from the train since it stands alone before the location of the smaller, clap-board houses which populate Fort Romper, Nebraska.

The Palace Hotel at Fort Romper was a light blue...[and] it was always screaming and howling in a way that made the dazzling winter landscape of Nebraska seem only a gay swampish hush.

The Palace Hotel is owned by a flamboyant Irishman named Pat Scully. The blue color of the hotel is symbolic of this owner, whose boldness and arrogance causes him to feel that he possesses a superior dwelling which should catch the sight of travelers and bring them into his hotel. Since it is an unnatural color, it may foreshadow the unnatural death of the Swede, later hinted at by the red light that places its color onto the snow. There is also an unnatural collusion of the cowboy and the Easterner in effecting the Swede's murder.