Scratchy Wilson ’s Character Analysis
In the part III of the story, the narrator introduces us to the character of Scratchy Wilson. The reader hears of Wilson through the residents at the Weary Gentleman saloon.The drummer is in the story for exposition. He helps funnel information to the reader. By asking questions like “What is this anyhow? You don’t mean there is going to be a gun-fight?” and “What did you say his name was?” and the bartender answering them, the reader learns all about Scratchy Wilson naturally, without the text explicitly stating it.
We learn that Scratchy Wilson is the last surviving member of an old gang of outlaws that used to hang out by the river near the town. Scratchy Wilson, a drunken cowboy represents the Old West. A close look at Scratchy Wilson shows that he has much more depth than his fiction counterparts.
* Crane’s Use of the Name “Scratchy”
“The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” shows that Crane chose names ideally suited to the revelation of his character’s personalities and situations, to the development of the story’s theme, and to the setting of tone. Crane provides us with the name of Scratchy Wilson which:
* Connotes the demonic, for “Old Scratch” is a traditional nickname for the devil. The “y” suffix of “Scratchy,” however, nicely deflates Wilson’s demonism, his capacity to do real harm –After all, when sober Scratchy is “all right – kind of simple – wouldn’t hurt a fly – nicest fellow in town”.
His status as the meanest hombre in Yellow Sky gives a false impression of his actual personality: Scratchy is less brave than pot-valiant (“scratched”, in fact, is slang for “tipsy”), and as such his reputation as a Western badman merely “scratches the surface” of Wilson.
* Furthermore, the word “scratchy” signifies both “irritating” and “irritable”: the townspeople find his periodic rampage annoying (in the “Weary Gentleman” saloon, only the “drummer,” an out-of-towner, is genuinely excited), and the...