"A man is born into the world with his own pair of eyes, and he is not responsible for his vision-he is merely responsible for his quality of personal honesty."
--- Stephen Crane (1871-1900)


"The Blue Hotel"

1. What strange behavior does the Swede exhibit and what can possibly explain it?

2. Describe the personalities of the other main characters:  Scully, Johnnie, the cowboy, the Easterner.  What
    impact does each of their personalities have on events in the story?

3. What is Scully's response to the Swede's claim that someone will kill him?  How does he behave toward the
    Swede in section three of the story?  What is his plan?  Why does he show the Swede pictures of his children?

4. What role does each character play in regard to the fight between Johnnie and the Swede?

5. What is the characterization of women in this story?

6. Explain the role of the environment in the story.  What impact does it have on events?  What is the significance
    of the image of the blue hotel?

7. Why does the narrator supply so much background information about the professional gambler at the saloon?
    What role does the bartender play in events there?

8. What are the implications of the image of the dead Swede facing the cash-machine legend:  "This registers the
    amount of your purchase."

9. What revelation is made in the final section of the story?  What does the Easterner mean when he says:  "This
    poor gambler isn't even a noun.  He is a kind of adverb."

10. In view of the Easterner's statement about parts of speech, where else does the story call attention to
    language?  What kinds of language do characters speak?  Does language succeed in communicating the truth
    about things?  Why or why not?  Besides words, how else do people communicate in this story's fictional world?