Writing Techniques in The Blue Hotel

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"The Blue Hotel" has generated a seemingly endless amount of literary criticism. Almost thirty-five pages, exclusive of bibliography, in Michael W. Schaefer's A Reader's Guide to the Short Stories of Stephen Crane (1996) are devoted to editorial summarization of the dozens of critical studies alone, covering a plethora of philosophical, psychological, theological, and ordinary literary aspects of the story. Critics have argued over such matters as the nature of the strangers, the Swede's character and significance, the cause of the events leading to the Swede's death, Crane's imagery and symbolism, his structuring of the story (particularly the last section, with its philosophy about how many people were really involved in the Swede's death), his aesthetics, and his own psychology that led him to write the story the way he did.

It is not enough to lump this story with ordinary, well-written Westerns of his day or our own. Crane...

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This section contains 675 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Blue Hotel Study Guide
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