The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky is a short story
written by Stephen Crane. The plotline:
- Jack Potter, sheriff of Yellow Sky, a small town in western Texas, is returning from San Antonio with his new bride. They are not part of the upper class, signaled by their uneasiness on the train ride back, as if they didn't belong in the car with the others.
- Jack Potter begins to feel regret in marrying this girl and bringing in an outsider to Yelow Sky. He begins to worry that she will be shunned or attacked because of this. His fears grow as they approach the town in the west.
Upon arrival, no one seems to care that he brought her to town. There is no one waiting for the train to arrive, and there is no uproar when the news begins to spread into town
- Scratchy, the town drunk does so, and challenges Potter to a fight, with guns. Potter talks him down, using the surprise information that he is married. Scratchy seems dumbfounded by the news, so much so that the confrontation ends without any action whatsoever.
Yellow Sky is the type of town people come to and don't ever leave, the type of town where the same families live for many generations. The decision of Jack Potter's wife to marry him and move to Yellow Sky is symbolic of the end of her life. She lived in San Antonio, a large city with myriad possibilities. She left that to go to the town of Yellow Sky, to a situation devoid of possibilities. Having drastically cut the options to take in her life, the most important thing to her now is when she will die. The metaphor of death is apt when you consider the absence of life that she will now have to live through. It is tragic to consider that the climax of her life will be her death, rather than something magnificant and important. The symbolism is seen in the narrative, "A knife to sever any friendly duty, any form, was easy to his hand in that remote city." It was the act of marriage, executed by Jack Potter that has effectively killed her. Jack Potter may fear for her safety when they reach Yellow Sky, but he is actually ashamed for what he has done to her.