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 The sight of her alone is a powerful symbol of how domestication has rendered Scratchy’s rough-and-tumble world outdated.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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.