Monster and Other Stories by Stephen Crane and Published By Dover Thrift Editions is a collection of three short stories by Stephen Crane. This collection includes “Monster”, “The Blue Hotel”, and “His New Mittens.”
I admit, I never read Red Badge of Courage even though I should have at least twice through first twelve years of schooling. The book never came up in my college studies and graduate school as required reading, but I was interested in it although I had too much required reading to get through first. After reading Monster, I have even more reason to read Red Badge of Courage. Crane was an excellent writer.
These three stories focus on human actions and reactions. “Monster” is particularly interesting as it deals with a black man, Hank, who saves his employer’s son from a fire, but in the process becomes horribly disfigured. The employer, a doctor, does what he can for Hank, and supports him. The reactions of the town people play a central role in the story and how they deal with a physically and mentally disfigured man in their town. It makes the reader think also about race and if that made any difference in the story. “The Blue Hotel” is another story that reads like good fiction, but it has an underlying plot of how random actions lead to a certain outcome. “His New Mittens” appears to be a child’s story filled with the emotions and logic of a child. From peer pressure to embarrassment and from resentment to belonging. A very well told story with much more to it than the title and opening seem to portray.
This collection gives the reader three great stories they probably never read or for that matter heard of. To most people, Crane would seem to be the “one hit wonder” writer ofRed Badge of Courage. This collection shows that there is much more depth to the writer than just a war story writer. Very much worth the read.