The Blue Hotel

by

Stephen Crane

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Johnnie is the hotel proprietor Scully's son, and an avid card player. After he and his friend the old farmer get into an argument about a game of cards, he challenges the Easterner, the cowboy, and the Swede to play instead. When the Swede later suggests someone has been murdered in the hotel, Johnnie comes to the hotel's defense and gets aggressive with the Swede. This begins the feud between the two men, which escalates when the Swede accuses Johnnie of cheating at cards. Johnnie becomes more and more hot-headed, and the Swede more brazen, until the two brawl over the card table, and then again in the blizzard outside the hotel. After losing the fight, Johnnie disappears into the back of the hotel to be nursed back to health by his mother–indicating that his hot-headedness is due in part to his immaturity.

Johnnie Scully Quotes in The Blue Hotel

The The Blue Hotel quotes below are all either spoken by Johnnie Scully or refer to Johnnie Scully. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift Editions edition of The Blue Hotel published in 1993.
Section 1 Quotes

Finally, with a laugh and a wink, he said that some of these Western communities were very dangerous; and after his statement he straightened his legs under the table, tilted his head, and laughed again, loudly. It was plain that the demonstration had no meaning to the others. They looked at him wondering and in silence.

Page Number: 90-91
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 2 Quotes

The Swede backed rapidly toward a corner of the room. His hands

were out protectingly in front of his chest, but he was making an obvious struggle to control his fright. “Gentlemen,” he quavered, “I suppose I am going to be killed before I can leave this house. I suppose I am going to be killed before I can leave this house!” In his eyes was the dying-swan look. Through the windows could be seen the snow turning blue in the shadow of dusk. The wind tore at the house, and some loose thing beat regularly against the clapboards like a spirit tapping.

Related Symbols: Cards, Blue, The Blizzard
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 3 Quotes

The Swede laughed wildly. He grabbed the bottle, put it to his mouth; and as his lip curled absurdly around the opening and his throat worked, he kept his glance, burning with hatred, upon the old man's face.

Related Characters: Pat Scully, The Swede, Johnnie Scully
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 4 Quotes

“Well, what do you think makes him act that way?” asked the cowboy.

“Why, he's frightened.” The Easterner knocked his pipe against a rim of the stove. “He’s clear frightened out of his boots.”

“What at?” cried Johnnie and the cowboy together. The Easterner reflected over his answer.
“What at?” cried the others again.

“Oh, I don’t know, but it seems to me this man has been reading dime novels, and he thinks he’s right out in the middle of it—the shootin’ and stabbin’ and all.”

“But,” said the cowboy, deeply scandalized, “this ain’t Wyoming, ner none of them places. This is Nebrasker.”

Related Characters: The Cowboy (Bill) (speaker), The Easterner (Mr. Blanc) (speaker), Johnnie Scully (speaker), Pat Scully, The Swede, The Gambler
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 5 Quotes

Of course the board had been overturned, and now the whole company of cards was scattered over the floor, where the boot of the men trampled the fat and painted kings and queens as they gazed with their silly eyes at the war that was waging above them.

Related Symbols: Cards
Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 6 Quotes

No snow was falling, but great whirls and clouds of flakes, swept up from the ground by the frantic winds, were streaming southward with the speed of bullets. The covered land was blue with the sheen of an unearthly satin, and there was no other hue save where, at the low, black railway station—which seemed incredibly distant—one light gleamed like a tiny jewel.

Related Symbols: The Train, Blue, The Blizzard
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 9 Quotes

"Fun or not," said the Easterner, "Johnnie was cheating. I saw him. I know it. I saw him. And I refused to stand up and be a man. I let the Swede fight it out alone. And you—you were simply puffing around the place and wanting to fight. And then old Scully himself! We are all in it! This poor gambler isn't even a noun. He is kind of an adverb. Every sin is the result of a collaboration. We, five of us, have collaborated in the murder of this Swede. […] that fool of an unfortunate gambler came merely as a culmination, the apex of a human movement, and gets all the punishment.”

The cowboy, injured and rebellious, cried out blindly into this fog of mysterious theory: “Well, I didn't do anythin’, did I?”

Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:
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Johnnie Scully Character Timeline in The Blue Hotel

The timeline below shows where the character Johnnie Scully appears in The Blue Hotel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 1
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
Once inside the hotel, Scully ends a game of cards between his son Johnnie and an old farmer, with whom Johnnie had been having an argument. Johnnie goes upstairs... (full context)
Section 2
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
Johnnie and the old farmer begin playing another game of cards, which the cowboy and the... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
The men form another game of cards—the cowboy partners with Johnnie, and the Swede is asked to join on the side of the Easterner. The Swede... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
...by his intensity, looking “miserable” each time the cowboy throws down his high cards, but Johnnie seems pleased by his partner's victories. The Swede interrupts the game to say he supposes... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Despite Johnnie's arguments that the Swede is insane and that nobody has ever died in the Palace... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...in the other men's behavior. Scully chastises his son for not being more hospitable, and Johnnie proclaims, “Well, what have I done?” (full context)
Section 4
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...other men and says that upstairs the Swede thought Scully was trying to poison him. Johnnie urges his father to throw the Swede out into the snow, but Scully insists that... (full context)
Section 5
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
...encourages the Swede, remaining calm even as the Swede slaps him on his bad shoulder. Johnnie is concerned that Scully is letting the Swede walk all over him, but Scully responds... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...to play because he plans to meet the 6:58 p.m. train at the station, but Johnnie grins menacingly and agrees to play the Swede. This game of cards has a different... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...newspaper. Everything seems peaceful until the Swede's voice rings out through the silence. He accuses Johnnie of cheating, transforming the room instantly into “a torture chamber.” Johnnie looks into the Swede's... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
The fight ceases for a moment, and Johnnie is able to confront the Swede. The Swede insists that Johnnie is cheating, but that... (full context)
Section 6
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...makes it clear the fight will be fair—it will just be between the Swede and Johnnie, and anyone who tries to get involved otherwise will have to deal with Scully. (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...a mental snapshot of the scene. He captures the “iron-nerved master of the ceremony” Scully, Johnnie, who looks “heroic” and “brutish,” and the Swede, who is “pale, motionless, terrible.” All the... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
...by a “war-like” rage, bolts forth “with the speed of a bronco,” and starts urging Johnnie to murder the Swede, screaming, “Kill him!” Finally, Johnnie falls back in the grass, winded.... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
The fight continues. Johnnie dodges the Swede and sends him to the ground as the others cheer. However, the... (full context)
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Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Scully asks Johnnie if he can walk, but Johnnie is more concerned about whether or not he hurt... (full context)
Section 7
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...the Swede, but Scully doesn't let him. He says, with “mournful heroism,” the fight was Johnnie's, and that it does no good if they all come after him. Scully makes it... (full context)
Section 8
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
The Swede begins to boast about beating Johnnie Scully in a fight at the blue hotel. The other men in the bar, including... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...other men in the saloon won't drink with him because he was boasting about fighting Johnnie. He gets up to start a fight. The gambler encourages him to sit down, talking... (full context)
Section 9
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...coming for him. In response, the Easterner reveals that the Swede wasn't crazy, and that Johnnie actually was cheating at cards. He then calls the cowboy a fool and admits that... (full context)