The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

by

Stephen Crane

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky can help.

Pullman Passenger Car Symbol Analysis

Pullman Passenger Car Symbol Icon

The train pulling the “Great Pullman” car that carries Jack Potter and the bride across Texas from San Antonio to Yellow Sky is a symbol of Eastern civilization and the changes wrought by late-nineteenth century capitalism in America. By the 1890s, the railroad companies were among the wealthiest and most powerful corporations in the United States. They crisscrossed the vast continent, connecting the east with the now-conquered frontier. In “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky,” the train swiftly penetrates the wild plains of Texas, allowing the newly married Potter and the bride to bring the comforts of their new domesticated lifestyle to the frontier town of Yellow Sky. The Pullman Company of Chicago manufactured its famous luxury sleeper cars that carried passengers across the continent in the lap of domestic luxury. As Potter tells the bride, the Pullman car contains “dazzling fittings” of velvet, brass, glass, and silver.” The Pullman literally and symbolically transports the comforts of an Eastern household into what once was the Wild West.

Pullman Passenger Car Quotes in The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

The The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky quotes below all refer to the symbol of Pullman Passenger Car. 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:
Frontier vs. Civilization Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift Editions edition of The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky published in 1993.
Part 1 Quotes

The Great Pullman was whirling onward with such dignity of motion that a glance from the window seemed simply to prove that the plains of Texas were pouring eastward. Vast flats of green grass, dull-hued spaces of mesquite and cactus, little groups of frame houses, woods of light and tender trees, all were sweeping into the east, sweeping over the horizon, a precipice.

Related Symbols: Pullman Passenger Car
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

To the minds of the pair, their surroundings reflected the glory of their marriage that morning in San Antonio. This was the environment of their new estate, and the man's face in particular beamed with an elation that made him appear ridiculous to the negro porter.

Related Characters: Jack Potter, The Porter
Related Symbols: Pullman Passenger Car, The Bride
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2 Quotes

Across the sandy street were some vivid green-grass plots, so wonderful in appearance, amid the sands that burned near them in a blazing sun, that they caused a doubt in the mid. They exactly resembled the grass mats used to represent lawns on the stage. At the cooler end of the railway station, a man without a coat sat in a tilted chair and smoked his pipe. The fresh-cut-bank of the Rio Grande circled near the town, and there could be seen beyond it a great plum-colored plain of mesquite.

Related Symbols: Pullman Passenger Car
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4 Quotes

He was stiffening and steadying, but yet somewhere at the back of his mind a vision of the Pullman-floated, the seagreen figured velvet, the shining brass, silver, and glass, the wood that gleamed as darkly brilliant as the surface of a pool of oil—all the glory of the marriage, the environment of the new estate.

Related Characters: Jack Potter (speaker)
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky PDF

Pullman Passenger Car Symbol Timeline in The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

The timeline below shows where the symbol Pullman Passenger Car appears in The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Frontier vs. Civilization Theme Icon
Change vs. Stasis Theme Icon
...the small clumps of “frame houses” dotting the landscape. Traveling in one of the train’s Pullman passenger cars is Jack Potter and his new bride. Despite his weather-beaten face and hands,... (full context)
Part 4
Frontier vs. Civilization Theme Icon
Domesticity, Gender, and Feminine Authority Theme Icon
Change vs. Stasis Theme Icon
...but Potter responds that he is unarmed. As he confronts Wilson, the image of the Pullman rail car fills Potter’s mind, evoking thoughts of green velvet, silver, brass, glass, and gleaming... (full context)