Stephen Crane Discussion Topics

Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Does classifying Maggie: A Girl of the Streets as a naturalistic novel facilitate or hinder the reader’s understanding of the novel?

What lessons does Henry Fleming learn in The Red Badge of Courage? Do they, as has been suggested, make the novel a “dark” one?

What qualities in The Red Badge of Courage have kept this novel alive despite the fact that the nature of warfare has changed so much since it was written?

Stephen Crane called one of his books of poetry War Is Kind, an obviously ironic title. A famous Civil War general said, “War is hell.” Explain why no simple formulation is adequate to explain Crane’s attitude toward war as expressed in his fiction and poetry.

By what means does Crane unify “The Open Boat”?

What does Crane mean by his statement at the end of “The Open Boat” that the survivors “felt that they could then be interpreters”?

Discuss the unconnectedness of human beings as a theme in Crane’s fiction.