Patterns of Style in Stephen Crane's Short Stories

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date

Fall 2007


During my forty-four years of college teaching, I have taught far more composition classes than literature classes. In addition to the basic writing courses English 101 and 102, I have taught the grammar course for secondary English education majors, composition for teachers, developmental writing, and advanced composition. Of these, my favorite course continues to be the 300 level advanced composition course, for it is the only course which allows me to rise above grammar and correctness and talk about elements of style.

My goal of course is not only to get students excited about good writing but also to offer them the opportunity to practice some of the rhetorical techniques skilled writers use thereby helping my students develop their own prose styles. To achieve this end, I have used examples from a number of famous writers over the years: Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell. Recently, however, I have been using in my advanced composition classes the short fiction of Stephen Crane, whom Berryman calls “one of the great stylists of the language."


This article was originally published in Eureka: Studies in Teaching Fiction.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Eureka: Studies in Teaching Fiction