This character is modeled after Crane himself, using his personal experience upon which "The Open Boat" is based. The correspondent's perspective is the most fully explored among the four main characters in this short story. He is one of four men who have survived a shipwreck. They find themselves on a small dinghy, attempting to reach the shore and hoping to be rescued. The correspondent helps the oiler row the dinghy.
The oiler is named Billie, and he is among the four men who have survived a shipwreck and cling to survival aboard a dinghy. He switches places with the correspondent to row the boat throughout the story. The oiler is familiar with the sea and quite strong, but he dies in his attempt to swim to shore.
The captain of the ruined ship injures his arm in the process of escaping the shipwreck. As a result, he spends much of the story lying in the dinghy, though he directs the other men. When they near the shore, the captain instructs the men about how to reach the shore. Because of his injured arm, he must remain clinging to the boat with his good arm as it nears the shore.
The cook, one of the four individuals on the dinghy, must dump water out of the boat. He is directed to this task by the captain. At one point in "The Open Boat," he lapses into a dream about food, the mention of which upsets the other men.
people on the shore
The four men in the dinghy spot people on the shore and hope that they are close to rescue. However, these people do not realize that the men in the dinghy have been shipwrecked and need assistance. Instead, they simply wave to the men and take no further action.
The rescuer comes to the aid of the survivors at the conclusion of "The Open Boat." The correspondent can spot him on the shore, gradually undressing himself. When he is naked, the rescuer plunges into the water to help the correspondent to safety.
Jack Potter, the central character in "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," is the town marshall of Yellow Sky, a small community located in Texas. He is the one whose bride comes to Yellow Sky, as described in the short story's title. At the beginning of the story, Potter has recently married his wife in San Antonio. The couple travel on a train to return to Yellow Sky, where Potter is forced to confront Scratchy Wilson. Before his marriage, Potter is considered by Wilson to be his arch nemesis. However, Potter's marriage changes the relationship between Potter and Wilson.
Mrs. Potter, the bride, is not described in particularly favorable terms, being neither pretty nor young. She is by all appearances very happy with her new groom, however, though the scene that awaits them at Yellow Sky shocks her.
The drummer is a talkative man at Yellow Sky's local saloon. He is extremely alarmed to hear about Scratchy Wilson's activities, even though they do not disturb the locals. The drummer's conversation with the barkeeper provides exposition so that the reader can understand more about the history of the town as well as and Scratchy Wilson's and Jack Potter's roles within it.
The barkeeper manages Yellow Sky's Weary Gentleman Saloon. He takes the news of Scratchy Wilson's latest activities in stride and explains Wilson's rituals to the drummer. When he learns that Wilson is loose in town and drunk, the barkeeper protects his establishment and his patrons by locking the entrance.
Wilson is an outdated figure of the West, an old-timer gunman who is well past his prime. Seemingly an alcoholic, he is known by the town of Yellow Sky to take his guns out regularly to shoot indiscriminately. He believes his nemesis to be Jack Potter because the latter is the only person who deals with him. When Wilson learns that Potter is married, he understands that their combative relationship, if only in name, is forever changed.
Three Texans, who are described as laconic, are at the Weary Gentleman Saloon with the drummer and the barkeeper when news of Scratchy Wilson breaks out.
two Mexican sheepherders
In addition to the drummer, barkeeper, and the three Texans, two Mexican sheepherders are also at the Weary Gentleman Saloon at the time of Wilson's terrorizing of Yellow Sky. Like the Texans, the sheepherders do not speak very much.
Patrick Scully, whose initial actions propel the story forward, owns the Palace Hotel, which is located in Fort Romper, Nebraska. He is of Irish descent, as indicated by his brogue, which Crane takes pains to write about. Scully often waits in town to solicit customers for his hotel. He brings back the Swede, Bill the cowboy, and Mr. Blanc (the Easterner) to his hotel. He has a family that consists of his son, Johnnie, and other children, at least one of whom is deceased.
The Swede is a dominant presence in the story, though he is ultimately killed by the gambler. Paranoid, defensive, and generally uncomfortable at the hotel, the Swede is suspicious of everyone around him. He falsely believes that the other guests wish to kill him, though they have given him no indication to think so. When he tries to leave the hotel, Patrick Scully persuades him to say. The Swede becomes involved in a card game with the Easterner, the cowboy, and Johnnie Scully. He accuses Johnnie of cheating, and to settle their dispute, the two fight. The Swede is victorious, but after going to another bar where he brags of his violent exploit, he becomes too demanding with the wrong patron. The gambler, who refuses to drink with the Swede, kills the Swede after he does not heed the gambler's warning not to touch him.
Johnnie is Patrick Scully's son. He enjoys playing card games, particularly High-Five, which he is playing with an old farmer at the beginning of the story. He plays High-Five with the new hotel guests and is accused of cheating. Later, the Easterner verifies that Johnnie did cheat during the game. Still, Johnnie is beaten by the Swede, his accuser.
Bill, the cowboy, joins the Swede, Johnnie, and Mr. Blanc (the Easterner) in the game of High-Five. He fully supports Johnnie and becomes almost rabid during the fight, yelling at Johnnie to kill the Swede. After the Swede is killed and the gambler is convicted of the murder, Bill meets with Mr. Blanc and they discuss these events. Again, Bill defends Johnnie's actions despite the Easterner's verification of Johnnie's cheating.
Easterner (Mr. Blanc)
Mr. Blanc starts out as a quiet man who is loathe to become involved in the dispute between Johnnie and the Swede. Indeed, he urges them to settle the fight as soon as possible, though his words are ignored by the other boisterous men. When he meets the cowboy months after the gambler is convicted for murdering the Swede, Mr. Blanc reveals that he feels that all of the men (the Scullys, the cowboy, and himself) were responsible for the Swede's actions and eventual death.
The bartender works at the establishment that the Swede patronizes after he wins the fistfight against Johnnie. The Swede boasts of his so-called achievement and invites the bartender to a drink. However, the bartender declines; moments later, he is unable to stop the scuffle between the gambler and the Swede in time to prevent the Swede's murder.
The gambler is described as almost a pillar of the community. At the bar where he kills the Swede, he sits with three well-respected men of the town. In addition, the gambler is known to be an upstanding family man. Aside from his profession, he is respected as a good citizen. When the Swede fails to remove his arm from the gambler (in his effort to force the gambler to drink with him), the gambler kills the Swede.
other men at the bar
The other men at the bar, who are sitting with the gambler when he kills the Swede, are two local businessmen and the district attorney. Their presence lends credence to the fact that the gambler is a respected man.
The old farmer is playing High-Five with Johnnie when Scully returns to the hotel with his three new customers. However, the old farmer and Johnnie are involved in some quarrel regarding the game, thus hinting at Johnnie's tendency to cheat.
Maggie, the title character of Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, is depicted as a victim of her environment and her circumstances. Her childhood is spent in the loveless home of her alcoholic, violent parents. Maggie grows into an attractive and industrious young woman. Unfortunately, she foolishly falls in love with Pete, her brother's good-for-nothing friend. When he seduces her, Maggie's reputation in her neighborhood is permanently destroyed. Pete also leaves her for another woman. With no means of emotional, psychological, or even financial support, Maggie turns to prostitution. She dies mysteriously.
Mrs. Johnson is the extraordinarily selfish, hypocritical, and overly dramatic woman who heads the Johnson family. Throughout the novella, she displays little compassion or genuine maternal care for her children, even when they are young. Mrs. Johnson is also quick to denounce her own daughter when she learns that Maggie has been seduced by Pete. Finally, upon hearing about Maggie's death (though she herself has indirectly caused Maggie's demise), Mrs. Johnson becomes hysterical and declares that she has forgiven Maggie for her sins.
Jimmie is Maggie's older brother. At the beginning of Maggie: A Girl of the Streets he is in a brawl against other young ruffians in the Bowery neighborhood. Jimmie becomes a surly street thug who works as a truck driver. Though he has moments of clarity in which he realizes that he is complicit in Maggie's undesirable situation, Jimmie ultimately sides with his mother and the rest of the neighborhood in denouncing Maggie.
Mr. Johnson, Maggie's and Jimmie's father, appears briefly at the beginning of the novella. He is portrayed as an abusive alcoholic who does not take care of his family. He and Mary Johnson have a deeply unhappy marriage and do not adequately take care of their children.
Tommie Johnson is the younger brother of Maggie and Jimmie who dies in infancy.
Pete is the thoughtless young man who effectively ruins Maggie's life. He first appears as a young man who helps Jimmie by breaking up the brawl between the Rum Alley and Devil's Row children. He reappears when Jimmie has grown up (and so has Maggie) as a bartender. He pretends to be sophisticated and worldly, but he is neither. Eventually, Pete is able to seduce Maggie, taking her from home, only to abandon her for another woman, Nell.
Nellie is a seemingly sophisticated, tough woman who steals Pete from Maggie, whether or not intentionally. To Maggie, she appears to be glamorous and of a higher class. It becomes clear, however, that Nellie's interest in Pete stems from greed, not from personal affection. When he passes out drunk, Nell scorns him.
Freddie is the young man accompanying Nell when she encounters Pete and Maggie. Like Maggie, Freddie is disturbed at being abandoned by his evening date, but he takes the loss in stride. He propositions Maggie in less than flattering terms, but she simply goes home alone.
Hattie appears only very briefly in the novel, when she accosts Jimmie on his way home in an attempt to speak with him. It is implied that Hattie and Jimmie are in an analogous situation to that of Maggie and Pete. However, Jimmie does not realize the irony of the situation. Though he despises Pete for ruining his sister's reputation, Jimmie does not realize he has done the same to Hattie.
Blue Billie is the youth against whom Jimmie fights at the story's opening. When they grow older, however, Billie becomes Jimmie's brawling companion and helps him fight Pete in defense of Maggie's honor.
Rum Alley children
The Rum Alley children include Jimmie, and they open the novel by running away from the attacking Devil's Row urchins. Jimmie is the sole Rum Alley child who remains to defend his turf.
Devil's Row urchins
The Devil's Row urchins are described as being of Irish descent. They attack the Rum Alley children at the beginning of the novel. The brawl is only broken up by the arrival of Pete.
huge fat man
The huge fat man, the last to be propositioned by Maggie before she disappears from the novel, accompanies her to a secluded spot by the river. He is the last person with Maggie before her death is announced to her mother. It remains unclear whether he plays a role in her death.
The last scene with Pete shows him surrounded by a group of women who appear to adore him. However, as soon as he passes out after consuming too much alcohol, they become disgusted and abruptly depart.
The neighbors, most notably Miss Smith, surround Mary Johnson at the end of the novel, when she learns of Maggie's death. By a collective force, with Miss Smith taking the lead, they spur on Mrs. Johnson's hysterics and dramatic declaration of forgiveness.
gentleman in a silk hat
When Maggie is first abandoned by Pete, she attempts to approach this gentleman to seek help. Though he appears to be kind and respectable, he turns away from her. He does not realize that she truly needs his assistance, instead assuming she is an unworthy person from the slums.
An old woman lives in the Rum Alley neighborhood near the Johnsons. She houses Jimmie temporarily after his parents engage in a terrible, loud fight. She assigns Jimmie to buy her alcohol, which his father then steals. Later, the old woman offers her home to Maggie as well, after the latter is turned away from her home by Mrs. Johnson.
The policeman breaks up the bar fight between Pete, Jimmie, and Billie.
Jim Trescott is the young son of Dr. Trescott, whose life is saved by Henry Johnson. Though Jim and Henry are initially friendly toward one another, Jim succumbs to the town's pressure and also makes fun of Henry after his disfigurement, together with other children.
Dr. Trescott is at the start of "The Monster" a very well-respected physician in Whilomville, New York. His employee, Henry Johnson, rescues his son Jim from a terrible house fire. Out of gratitude, Dr. Trescott nurses Johnson back to health even though the latter has suffered terrible, disfiguring burns all over his face and body. This act of gratitude, however, results in the townspeople ostracizing Trescott and his family.
Grace Trescott is the wife of Dr. Trescott and Jim's mother. At the conclusion of "The Monster," she is extremely upset when her friends shun her customary Wednesday tea party.
Henry Johnson is a black coachman employed by Dr. Trescott. He rescues Trescott's son, Jim, from an uncontrollable house fire that destroys the Trescott home. In the process, Johnson becomes irreparably disfigured and nearly dies. His scarred features frighten the townspeople, who initially applauded his heroism when he was near death, but now shun him due to his appearance.
This is a young woman in the town whom Henry Johnson courts. Directly after the fire, she claims that they were engaged to be married. However, once Johnson's survival and disfigurement become known, Bella rejects him.
Mrs. Farragut is Bella's mother.
Reifsnyder is the town barber in Whilomville, New York. When talking with his clients, Reifsnyder expresses empathy for Trescott's situation and understands the doctor's reasoning for nursing Johnson back to health instead of letting him die.
Griscom is a young attorney who lives in Whilomville, New York.
Jake Rogers is the first fireman to jump into action when news of the Trescott house fire reaches the town.
Johnnie Thorpe is another fireman who helps handle the Trescott fire.
Hannigan is the man who pounds on the Trescotts' house door to inform Mrs. Trescott, upstairs, that her house is on fire.
John Shipley is the chief of the fire department, though many people dislike him. He is considered by many to be too stoic at the scenes of fires.
Judge Denning Hagenthorpe
Hagenthorpe is a well-respected member of the community in Whilomville, New York. He offers counsel to Dr. Trescott with regard to Henry Johnson. Furthermore, Hagenthorpe opens his home to the Trescott family directly after the fire. Later, however, he succumbs to town pressure as well and advises Dr. Trescott to distance himself from Johnson.
Alek lives in an area more removed from the town of Whilomville. Dr. Trescott enlists his help by requesting that he house Johnson after he recovers from his injuries. Alek claims his family is extremely frightened of Johnson's appearance. He negotiates with Judge Hagenthorpe to receive more money in exchange for tending to Johnson.
Theresa Page is a little girl whose birthday party is disrupted by Johnson's unexpected appearance. A guest at her party is frightened by the appearance of Johnson in the window.
Sam is the policeman who informs Trescott that Johnson has been found and jailed.
Jake Winter's daughter is the girl at Theresa Page's birthday party who is frightened by Johnson's appearance. Winter bears a grudge against Dr. Trescott for helping Johnson survive his injuries. He unreasonably wants Dr. Trescott to be arrested as well.
Martha Goodwin is a spinster who lives with her married sister, Kate. One of her friends is Carrie Dungen, who brings news of the town gossip. While Carrie and Kate discuss the Trescott situation, Goodwin points out that Winter's daughter is in fact not so sick from the fright of seeing Johnson.
Willie Dalzel and other children
Willie Dalzel, together with a group of other children, plays with Jim Trescott after the accident. They cruelly make fun of Henry Johnson by daring each other to approach him as closely as possible.
Twelve is the town grocer. He apparently is very wealthy. Together with two other men and Judge Hagenthorpe, he approaches Trescott about the Johnson matter. They want Trescott to send Johnson to an institution so that the town does not have to deal with him.
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and Other Stories Questions and Answers
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Study Guide for Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and Other Stories
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets study guide contains a biography of Stephen Crane, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis of Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, The Open Boat and other stories by Stephen Crane.
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Maggie: A Girl of the Streets essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and other short stories by Stephen Crane.