Stephen Crane's "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" (1898) gives an understanding of western life through a short story of fighting and rough adventures. Crane's imagery is vivid, but the words he writes seldom provided a final interpretation. His perceptions and expressions seem as current as anything experienced to date. Crane is a storyteller who captivates a reader from his first paragraph. He touches upon innocence and experience through his writings and transformation of everyday people. The setting of the story is on a frontier of some kind in Yellow Sky, Texas. Yellow Sky is situated on the Southern Railway that bears the California Express, a primary link directly to civilization. Jack Potter and Scratchy Wilson are the main characters, and they are integral members of the social setting as they dominate social life. The story is told mostly from the third person point of view. The underlying theme of the story is changes in civilization: the dying of the old west and the merging of the eastern way of life. In this story Crane traces the train ride home of Jack Potter, who is confronted with both external and internal conflicts, from San Antonio to Yellow Sky, Texas.
Jack Potter is "the town marshal of Yellow Sky" (252). He is portrayed as a valiant man, "known, liked, and feared in his corner, a prominent person" (252). He puts his integrity into jeopardy when "he had gone to San Antonio to meet a girl he believed he loved" (252) and married her "without consulting Yellow Sky for any part of the transaction" (252). The inhabitants of Yellow Sky are not aware that any grand shift is taking place as they "innocent and unsuspecting to his actions" (252). Instead, they are so closely connected to each other that each change in their social structure is perceived as being very important.
The major internal conflict that Jack has involves his move into having a family and getting married.