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The story is largely about the contrast between the real West of the times and the picture that many people had of the so-called Wild West as a result of reading lurid stories in newspapers, magazines, and books. The Swede is terrified (as Crane has the Easterner explain) because he...

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The story is largely about the contrast between the real West of the times and the picture that many people had of the so-called Wild West as a result of reading lurid stories in newspapers, magazines, and books. The Swede is terrified (as Crane has the Easterner explain) because he is a newcomer who believes that the West is much more violent, lawless, and dangerous than it really is. The reality is that the West is a very dull and primitive place.

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