Pictured here is an opium den in 1900. In reality, opium smoking and opium dens were not lavish intellectual circles- many times they were dirty and crowded. Stephen Crane describes the appeal of opium in his work “Opium’s Varied Dreams.” Opium addiction became a reprieve from the aggression of New York. Stephen Crane illustrates the effects: “Opium holds out to them its lie, and they embrace it eagerly, expecting to find a definition of peace, but they awake to find the formidable labors of life grown more formidable. And if the pipe should happen to ruin their lives, they cling to it the more closely to it because then it stands between them and thought” (313).