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 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.
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.
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.
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.