What does the "bride" represent?
In Stephen Crane's Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, the bride represents a change in the old Western town to a more civilized place. By her sheer presence, she stops a gun fight in its tracks. She marries the Sheriff of the western Texas town, Yellow Sky, in the morning and with no warning to the townsfolk, is brought home the same day by her new husband, the sheriff.
It is an ordinary day in Yellow Sky; a group of men including an Easterner are drinking in the saloon and listening to music played by their visitor from the East. One of the men gets drunk and goes out looking for a gun fight. The men in the saloon barricade him outside so he moves his hankering for a gun fight to the sheriff’s adobe home just as the sheriff and his bride make their way home after arriving on the afternoon train. The gun fight is over before it begins when Scratchy, the inebriated man, finds out that the sheriff is not carrying a gun and that he is accompanied by his wife. A woman has come to Yellow Sky, the sheriff has no gun on his person; Scratchy is confused and dismayed.
I ain't got a gun because I've just come from San Anton' with my wife. I'm married," said Potter. "And if I'd thought there was going to be any galoots like you prowling around when I brought my wife home, I'd had a gun, and don't you forget it.
Brides mean a more civilized way of life. Change is in the air just by the bride’s presence in the small rural town she symbolizes all of the things that women stand for such as families, children, and the enforcement of laws in the small growing towns of the West.