The Blue Hotel

by

Stephen Crane

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Pat Scully Character Analysis

Pat Scully is the proprietor and owner of the Palace Hotel and the father of Johnnie Scully. He has been a resident of Romper, Nebraska for fourteen years, and is an avid and well-respected businessman; he meets his three guests—the Swede, the cowboy, and the Easterner—at the train station when they arrive and is described as being “boisterous[ly]” hospitable. Locals believe his business prowess to be reflected in his choice of flashy blue paint, which makes the Palace Hotel impossible to ignore. Though Scully is initially warm and welcoming to all his guests, he quickly becomes suspicious of the Swede when the latter begins acting strangely. Scully becomes particularly agitated and impatient when the Swede suggests that it is dangerous to stay at his hotel. Though it seems that Scully is peaceful and kind by nature, near the end of the story he urges his son Johnnie to fight the Swede. It is clear that Scully is confused and uncertain about his role in the violence that ensues when Johnnie's mother shames him for putting his own son at risk.

Pat Scully Quotes in The Blue Hotel

The The Blue Hotel quotes below are all either spoken by Pat Scully or refer to Pat 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

The Palace hotel at Fort Romper was painted a light blue, a shade that is on the legs of a kind of heron, causing the bird to declare its position against any background. The Palace Hotel, then, was always screaming and howling in a way that made the dazzling winter landscape of Nebraska seem only a gray swampish hush. It stood alone on the prairie, and when the snow was falling the town two hundred yards away was not visible. But when the traveler alighted at the railway station he was obliged to pass the Palace Hotel before he could come upon the company of low clapboard houses which composed Fort Romper, and it was not to be thought that any traveler could pass the Palace Hotel without looking at it. […] It is true that on clear days, when the great transcontinental expresses, long lines of swaying Pullmans, swept through Fort Romper, passengers were overcome at the sight, and the cult that knows the brown-reds and the subdivisions of the dark greens of the East expressed shame, pity, horror, in a laugh.

Related Characters: Pat Scully, The Swede
Related Symbols: The Train, Blue
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:

Scully practically made them prisoners. He was so nimble and merry and kindly that each probably felt it would be the height of brutality to try to escape.

Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:
Section 2 Quotes

As the men trooped heavily back into the front room, the two little windows presented views of a turmoiling sea of snow. The huge arms of the wind were making attempts—mighty, circular, futile—to embrace the flakes as they sped. A gatepost like a still man with a blanched face stood aghast amid this profligate fury. In a hearty voice Scully announced the presence of a blizzard.

Related Symbols: The Blizzard
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:

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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Pat Scully Character Timeline in The Blue Hotel

The timeline below shows where the character Pat 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
...many of the more civilized train passengers coming from the East, locals consider proprietor Pat Scully a skilled businessman for making his hotel stand out. Scully also often waits outside the... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
One morning, Scully manages to catch three such customers as they disembark from their train. One is a... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Scully directs the men to a basin of frigid water, and while the cowboy and the... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Later, at dinner, the Swede breaks his silence to ask Scully questions about local agriculture, yet barely seems to listen to the proprietor’s answers; his eyes... (full context)
Section 2
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
...with the “humming” stove and watch a “turmoiling sea of snow” outside the hotel window. Scully announces that a blizzard has blown into town. The men don't seem bothered by this... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...eyes. At this moment, the Swede takes notice of the blizzard blowing “blue” snow outside.  Scully comes into the room and begins to ask the men what the fuss is about.... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
The Swede insists on leaving the hotel because he does not want “to be killed.” Scully tries to stop the Swede, insisting he won't be “troubled” under his roof. Against Scully's... (full context)
Section 3
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Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
Scully goes upstairs to find the Swede, who is packing his suitcase. The Swede is startled... (full context)
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Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
The Swede tries to pay his dues and leave, but Scully refuses to take his money. Instead, he urges the Swede to follow him into another... (full context)
Section 4
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
Scully and the Swede come downstairs boisterously, as if they are now friends. The other men... (full context)
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Scully gives a short speech about how, as a hotel keeper, his hospitality is the most... (full context)
Section 5
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
...at all to his statements and try to keep out of his way, as do Scully’s “daughters” who flee the room with “ill-concealed trepidation.” Scully encourages the Swede, remaining calm even... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...Swede insists the men play another game of cards, with a “threat” in his tone. Scully refuses to play because he plans to meet the 6:58 p.m. train at the station,... (full context)
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Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
Scully returns from his trip to the train station and continues to read his newspaper. Everything... (full context)
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Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...of man” he is. Johnnie “coolly” agrees to continue to the fight. The cowboy asks Scully what he will do, and the proprietor responds with his eyes “glowing,” “We'll let them... (full context)
Section 6
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
...in the wind that the other men will gang up on him during the fight. Scully makes it clear the fight will be fair—it will just be between the Swede and... (full context)
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Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
The men make “arrangements” and prepare for the fight—“obedient to the harsh commands of Scully,” who looks in this moment like a Roman veteran. In the pause before the fight,... (full context)
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Vulnerability and Violence Theme Icon
...to murder the Swede, screaming, “Kill him!” Finally, Johnnie falls back in the grass, winded. Scully asks his son with “melancholy” tenderness if he thinks he can keep going. Johnnie finally... (full context)
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
...situation is marked by the “splendor of isolation.”  Johnnie is finally knocked to the ground. Scully asks Johnnie if he's finished fighting, and Johnnie says yes. He starts crying over his... (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... (full context)
Section 7
Fate, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility Theme Icon
Judgment and Deception Theme Icon
The cowboy proclaims that he would like to fight the Swede, but Scully doesn't let him. He says, with “mournful heroism,” the fight was Johnnie's, and that it... (full context)
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The Swede leaves. As soon as the door to the closes, Scully and the cowboy go into hysterics, talking about all the ways they imagine hurting the... (full context)