The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

by

Stephen Crane

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The Bride Symbol Icon

Jack Potter’s titular, unnamed bride symbolizes domestication—a product of the civilized advances of Eastern capitalism. At the beginning of the story, the bride is an ornamental addition to Jack Potter’s new domesticated life. She wears “a dress of blue cashmere” with patches of velvet, “puff sleeves,” and “steel buttons abound.” Much like the Pullman car with its “dazzling fittings,” the bride is well-adorned with luxury items over which Jack Potter marvels. She is the agent of domesticating change that transforms Potter from a sunburnt western marshal into a proper married gentleman, a transition that not only upends Potter’s world, but Scratchy Wilson’s as well. Indeed, at the story’s climax, Wilson does not even hear the bride speak. The sight of her alone is a powerful symbol of how domestication has rendered Scratchy’s rough-and-tumble world outdated. He is unable to process how her femininity and domesticating presence has forever robbed him of his adversary and his beloved Wild West.

The Bride Quotes in The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

The The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Bride. 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

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:

As a matter of truth, Jack Potter was beginning to find the shadow of a deed weigh upon him like a leaden slab.

Related Characters: Jack Potter
Related Symbols: The Bride
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3 Quotes

A man in a maroon-colored flannel shirt, which had been purchased for purposes of decoration, and made principally by some Jewish women on the East Side of New York, rounded a corner and walked into the middle of the main street of Yellow Sky. In either hand the man held a long, heavy, blue-black revolver. Often he yelled, and these cries rang through a semblance of a deserted village, shrilly flying over the roofs in a volume that seemed to have no relation to the ordinary vocal strength of a man. It was as if the surrounding stillness formed the arch of a tomb over him. These cries of ferocious challenge rang against walls of silence. And his boots had-red tops with gilded imprints, of the kind beloved in winter by little sledding boys on the hillsides of New England.

Related Characters: Jack Potter
Related Symbols: The Bride, Scratchy Wilson
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4 Quotes

There was a silence. Potter's mouth seemed to be merely a grave for his tongue. He exhibited an instinct to at once loosen his arm from the woman’s grip, and he dropped the bag to the sand. As for the bride, her face had gone as yellow as old cloth. She was a slave to hideous rites, gazing at the apparitional snake.

Related Characters: Jack Potter
Related Symbols: The Bride, Scratchy Wilson
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

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:

He was like a creature allowed a glimpse of another world. He moved a pace backward, and his arm, with the revolver, dropped to his side.

Related Characters: Jack Potter
Related Symbols: The Bride, Scratchy Wilson
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:

He was not a student of chivalry; it was merely that in the presence of this foreign condition he was a simple child of the earlier plains. He picked up his starboard revolver, and, placing both weapons in their holsters, he went away. His feet made funnel-shaped tracks in the heavy sand.

Related Characters: Jack Potter
Related Symbols: The Bride
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky PDF

The Bride Symbol Timeline in The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Bride 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
...Traveling in one of the train’s Pullman passenger cars is Jack Potter and his new bride. Despite his weather-beaten face and hands, Potter is dressed elegantly in “new black clothes.” The... (full context)
Domesticity, Gender, and Feminine Authority Theme Icon
Potter and the bride are both thrilled to be riding in the train and look forward to having the... (full context)
Frontier vs. Civilization Theme Icon
Domesticity, Gender, and Feminine Authority Theme Icon
Change vs. Stasis Theme Icon
The black porter observes Potter and the bride in amusement, thinking them “ridiculous” in their wonder and obvious inexperience. As he serves the... (full context)
Frontier vs. Civilization Theme Icon
...The waiter is merely doing his job, but his “ordinary deference” impresses Potter and the bride, who are not used to such a refined dining experience. (full context)
Change vs. Stasis Theme Icon
...the town’s brass band would play alongside a cheering crowd to welcome himself and the bride back to Yellow Sky. Instead, he resolves to slink off the train unnoticed to take... (full context)
Frontier vs. Civilization Theme Icon
Domesticity, Gender, and Feminine Authority Theme Icon
Change vs. Stasis Theme Icon
...excitedly. Potter responds with a “hangdog glance” and a nervous laugh. As he and the bride head to the marshal’s home, the porter chuckles behind them. (full context)
Part 4
Domesticity, Gender, and Feminine Authority Theme Icon
Change vs. Stasis Theme Icon
While Scratchy Wilson rails outside Jack Potter’s house, Potter and the bride walk “sheepishly” and “with speed” in the direction of Potter’s dwelling. As they round the... (full context)
Frontier vs. Civilization Theme Icon
Domesticity, Gender, and Feminine Authority Theme Icon
Change vs. Stasis Theme Icon
...Wilson that he is unarmed because he just returned from San Antonio with his new bride. However, had he known there would be “galoots” like Wilson prowling about when he brought... (full context)