The outcasts of poker flat analysis

the outcasts of poker flat analysis

  • Analysis of Bret Harte’s The Outcasts of Poker Flat – Literary Theory and Criticism
  • The Outcasts of Poker Flat Summary & Analysis | LitCharts
  • The Outcasts of Poker Flat
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    the outcasts of poker flat analysis

    Struggling with distance learning? Themes All Themes. Symbols All Symbols. Theme Wheel. Everything you need for every book you read. The way the content is organized and presented is seamlessly smooth, innovative, and comprehensive. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Outcasts of Poker Flatwhich you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

    John Oakhursta gambler, walks around Poker Flat on the flat of November 23, From the outset, the story is concerned with morality and immorality, outcasts dichotomy that Harte will complicate as he unveils his main characters. This passage also begins to flesh out the settlement of Poker Flat and the American Old West more broadly.

    The Sabbath is a day of rest in Judaism and The, celebrated on Saturdays and Sundays, respectively. Active Themes. Morality vs. A secret committee convenes to decide who can remain at Poker Flat and who should go. Two men have already been hanged. Poker Flat is in a analysis vulnerable state, nursing the wounds of financial and personal loss.

    This passage begins to complicate what constitutes as morality versus immorality, as the residents who act virtuously do so with a similar measure of unruliness and savage energy as those who are implied to be immoral. Related Quotes with Explanations. However, the members of the committee who have won money from Oakhurst intervene, poker that the man be banished rather than hanged.

    A group of armed men, meant specifically to intimidate Oakhurstmarches the outcasts out of Poker Flat. When the group reaches the gulch—which marks the edge of Poker Flat—the guards turn back, warning the outcasts to never return. If they do, they will be killed. Once the guards are gone, the Duchess begins to sob and Mother Shipton swears bitterly.

    As the Duchess and Mother Shipton theatrically declare that they want kill someone or be killed themselves, and Uncle Billy makes similarly disturbing proclamations, Oakhurst listens quietly. In ancient Iran, soldiers from the Parthian Empire developed a distinctive and highly effective battle technique: in combat, the Parthians would suddenly run away, as if fleeing in terror.

    Once the enemy was certain that the Parthians were retreating, the Parthians would suddenly turn around and shoot them in a merciless surprise attack. First, it shows that, like Mother Shipton, Uncle Billy has a crude vocabulary that seems to match his unrefined reputation.

    Second, it foreshadows a similarly fatal surprise attack, in which Uncle Billy will be at the center. The journey is difficult, though, as the town is one full day of intense and difficult travel away, the mountain pass is steep and narrow, and the cold air is harsh and unforgiving.

    The Analyss West is a thoroughly dangerous place, as the outcasts are forced to leave one life-threatening danger the unforgiving residents of Poker Flat, who have made it clear that the outcasts will be killed if they return for another, the similarly rugged and hostile natural world.

    The Brutality of the Old West.


    At noon, the Duchess announces that she will go no further. Once again, Oakhurst is the clear voice of reason in the group—he is calm but firm, and he draws on his experience as a gambler to make sense of the situation. This is also a tension that stretches until the very end of the story, as Harte portrays Oakhurst as alternately heroic and passive, strong and weak.

    Flaf the influence of alcohol, Uncle Billy becomes aggressive and combative, the Duchess grows weepy and sentimental, and Mother Shipton falls asleep. Meanwhile, Oakhurst stands off to the side, silently analusis his companions. That Oakhurst abstains from alcohol speaks to the complexity of his character.

    Even though Poker Flat branded him as immoral by throwing him in with the other outcasts, it seems that Oakhurst is pker not so immoral after all.

    Oakhurst dusts off his clothes and washes his hands and face with characteristic meticulousness. He misses the excitement of gambling, which ironically is what makes him so calm and levelheaded. Even though Oakhurst is accustomed to social isolation as a gambler, his distance from society—and thus from the prospect of gambling—is beginning to wear on him.

    Gazing at the granite cliffs and towering pine trees encircling him, as well as the threateningly cloudy skies above, Oakhurst suddenly hears someone call out his name. Tom is fresh-faced and cheerful, delighted to have stumbled upon Oakhurst in the woods.

    the outcasts of poker flat analysis

    Meanwhile, year-old Piney rides out from behind a tree, flaat and beautiful. Tom is the very picture of bubbly, boyish innocence and enthusiasm, making him a foil for the serious, strong, and silent Oakhurst who has weathered many hardships.

    Analysis of Bret Harte’s The Outcasts of Poker Flat – Literary Theory and Criticism

    Similarly, Piney is immediately characterized as childlike, meek, and pure, setting her apart from the two other women—Mother Shipton and the Duchess, both prostitutes—in the group. Oakhurst implores Tom to continue on his way rather than linger, as Oakhurst and his companions are out of rations and have no way to make camp. When Uncle Billy returns, he finds everyone seated around the fire, chatting animatedly.

    Uncle Billy looks around at the group in disgust and notices the ouutcasts tied up nearby. Uncle Billy is thoroughly volatile and increasingly unhinged in this passage. This passage also makes it clear that the group is beginning to bond, but Uncle Billy wants analysiis part in it. The vlat are to spend the night in the dilapidated cabin, insulated with pine branches, while the men are to sleep outside.

    The outcasts of poker flat summary and analysis. Published for the first time on Overland Monthly in , Â «The Outcasts of Poker Flatâ» made a parallel with its history, Â «The Luck of Roaring Campâ», published in , introducing the Americans of . Jun 04,  · Analysis of Bret Harte’s The Outcasts of Poker Flat By NASRULLAH MAMBROL on June 4, First published in the Overland Monthly in , “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” closely paralleled its companion story, “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” published in , by introducing Americans in the eastern United States to the rough, violent, ungoverned West. A group of armed men, meant specifically to intimidate Oakhurst, marches the outcasts out of Poker Flat. There are four outcasts in the group: a young lady who is “familiarly known as ‘ The Duchess,’” a man called Uncle Billy who is drunkard and “suspected sluice-robber,” and woman who has somehow earned the nickname Mother Shipton. When the group reaches the gulch—which marks the edge .

    Through the use of these epithets—and the later references to Homer—Harte fleshes out his characters and imbues his story with a kind of mythological quality and sense of impending fate. In the morning, Oakhurst wakes up with a start, realizing that there is snow on the ground.

    Oakhurst quickly springs into action, but in the next moment he becomes calm, accepting, and seemingly passive again, raising the question of whether he is fighting hard enough against his circumstances. Although Oakhurst does lie and strategically omit information from Piney and Tom, he does so to protect them.

    With snow on the ground and no mules to travel on, the group is stranded, possibly left to die in the mountains, and Uncle Billy is responsible.

    The Outcasts of Poker Flat Summary & Analysis | LitCharts

    The group begins to spruce up their dilapidated cabin, while Oakhurst goes out to look for the trailhead. Even today, movies and books incorporate his Wild West character types—the stoic gambler, the soft-hearted prostitute, the unthinking drunk, and the vigilante committee driven by personal interests and blinded by the passion of a moment.

    The story begins with John Oakhurst, a professional gambler, sensing a shift in the moral weather of Poker Flat, a shift that foreshadows the literal weather change that dooms the characters. In a sudden move to eliminate unsavory residents, Poker Flat has hanged two flta determined to evict four others—Oakhurst, Mother Shipton, the Duchess, and Uncle Billy.

    The Outcasts of Poker Flat

    The four head toward Sandy Bar, a nearby camp. Oakhurst, whose stoicism contrasts sharply with the invectives of the other three, assumes the role of unselfish leader. When a sudden winter storm blocks the trail, the bond between the three outcasts pokker the two innocents strengthens.

    They divide the few provisions Tom carries, devise myriad wholesome entertainments, and wait for a break in the weather, a break that does not occur. Mother Shipton, once the healthiest of the group, fades rapidly. Just before her death, she instructs Oakhurst to examine the packet under her head.

    There he finds her rations for the past week. Oakhurst devises some crude snowshoes and instructs Tom to go for help, insisting that is the only way to save Piney. Days later, rescuers find them, the Duchess and Piney dead and indistinguishable as to innocence or sin.

    However, the natural beauty of the Sierras and the picturesque calm of the snowstorm become ironically intertwined with the hidden natural goodness of the characters. Harte projects even the most hardened sinners as outcasts a poker of gold; under the right influences, they discover their real qualities. With the exception of drinking, every sin can be absolved.

    Although readers chuckled at the incongruity of the self-righteous reformed citizens of Poker Flat exiling those without the foresight to reform, the story raises the serious question of what values will prevail in the West, who will administer the law, and whether the rule the be local or global.

    Indeed, as those who evict the outcasts are motivated by self-interest—whether they have won money from or lost it to Oakhurst— Harte leads readers to understand that those settling the frontier must not abandon their values, even though no civilizing force of law exists.

    Flat, Harte also seems to question the vigilante committee and its secret meeting. The arbitrary selection of the outcasts evokes analysis of Massachusetts witch hunts. Another major concern of the story is community.

    The outcasts of poker flat summary and analysis. Published for the first time on Overland Monthly in , Â «The Outcasts of Poker Flatâ» made a parallel with its history, Â «The Luck of Roaring Campâ», published in , introducing the Americans of . Jun 04,  · Analysis of Bret Harte’s The Outcasts of Poker Flat By NASRULLAH MAMBROL on June 4, First published in the Overland Monthly in , “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” closely paralleled its companion story, “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” published in , by introducing Americans in the eastern United States to the rough, violent, ungoverned West. A group of armed men, meant specifically to intimidate Oakhurst, marches the outcasts out of Poker Flat. There are four outcasts in the group: a young lady who is “familiarly known as ‘ The Duchess,’” a man called Uncle Billy who is drunkard and “suspected sluice-robber,” and woman who has somehow earned the nickname Mother Shipton. When the group reaches the gulch—which marks the edge .

    5 thoughts on “The outcasts of poker flat analysis”

    1. Sherry Porter:

      The Outcasts of Poker Flat. Plot Summary.

    2. Tiffany Adams:

      Even today, movies and books incorporate his Wild West character types—the stoic gambler, the soft-hearted prostitute, the unthinking drunk, and the vigilante committee driven by personal interests and blinded by the passion of a moment. The story begins with John Oakhurst, a professional gambler, sensing a shift in the moral weather of Poker Flat, a shift that foreshadows the literal weather change that dooms the characters. In a sudden move to eliminate unsavory residents, Poker Flat has hanged two and determined to evict four others—Oakhurst, Mother Shipton, the Duchess, and Uncle Billy.

    3. David Roberts:

    4. Angela Rodriguez:

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