Instant Resources for The Blue Hotel by Stephen Crane!
Whether you're looking for a short story to pair with the novel you're teaching, or you need a 2- to 3-day sub plan to use with the stories in your textbooks, Prestwick House Instant Short Story Packs go beyond basic comprehension to help students learn how to analyze literature.
Each downloadable pack addresses key skills through 5-10 standards-based analysis questions by guiding students through a series of scaffolding graphic organizers and in-class activities.
This Instant Short Story Pack for The Blue Hotel by Stephen Crane includes:
- Scaffolding graphic organizers and in-class activities
- Standards-based objectives
- Introduction and pre-reading notes
- Complete short story text
- Rigorous analysis questions
- Detailed teacher's answer guide
About The Blue Hotel
“The Blue Hotel” is one of Stephen Crane’s most famous stories. As is the case with many of Crane’s works, the surface simplicity of the plot and characters causes many readers to oversimplify their reading of the story. Keep in mind that the story takes place in the late 1800s. The owner of the hotel, Pat Scully, is proud of how modern the town is: A second railroad line is about to be opened, and in the spring, a line of electric street-cars is going to be installed. It is an industrial town with a “big factory.” The town also boasts four churches and a “smashin’ big brick schoolhouse,” not the whitewashed clapboard building that serves as school, church, and town hall in the stereotypical village of the “Old West.”
Stephen Crane toured the American West and Mexico in 1895. The sketches he wrote and published largely comment on the similarities he found in the West and his own home locales. The states of Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas were a great deal tamer than the Wild West that may have existed fifty years earlier—or that may have existed only in legend. The difference between what he expected and what he found is the basis for this story, which has been called a study in fear. The reality is that the Swede’s fear that he is about to be killed is baseless.
The story is a parody of sorts. Instead of providing a contrast between the reality of the American West and common misconceptions of the Wild West, it uses those incorrect interpretations to explore the psychological reaction of a person who believes himself to be in danger when he is not.
It also explores the psychology of the “innocent” bystander.
As you read “The Blue Hotel,” look at Crane’s characteristic use of color and other sensory details to create vivid images in the minds of his readers. Then, contrast the realism of his descriptions with his failure to identify his characters by any means beyond their most superficial labels, the Easterner, the Swede, the cowboy, etc. Consider what effect Crane is trying to create—what ideas he might be exploring—by putting these Everymen into such a specific setting and circumstances.