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"The Outcasts of Poker Flat" is a short story written by American author John Steinbeck. It was first published in 1869 and has since become a classic of American literature.
The story is set in the 1850s in a small California mining town called Poker Flat. It follows the lives of several outcasts who are banished from the town by a group of self-righteous citizens. The outcasts, who include a young woman named Tom Simpson and her lover, a gambler named "The Duke," set out into the wilderness to make their way to a new town. Along the way, they are joined by two other outcasts: a thief named Piney Woods and a prostitute named Mother Shipton.
The group faces many challenges as they journey through the wilderness, including hunger, cold, and danger from wild animals. Despite these difficulties, they manage to find a small cabin in which to take shelter. However, they soon realize that they are not alone in the cabin; it is also inhabited by a group of thieves who have taken refuge there.
As the story progresses, the outcasts begin to form close bonds with one another. They learn to rely on each other and support one another in their struggles. Despite their rough exterior, they are shown to have deep compassion and loyalty towards one another.
Ultimately, the outcasts of Poker Flat are able to overcome their struggles and find a new home in a nearby town. The story ends on a hopeful note, with the outcasts looking towards the future with renewed hope and determination.
"The Outcasts of Poker Flat" is a powerful tale of redemption and the human capacity for resilience. It is a poignant reminder that even the most seemingly hopeless situations can be overcome with the help of others and the determination to persevere.
"The Outcasts of Poker Flat" is a short story written by American author Bret Harte in 1869. The story centers around a group of outcasts who are exiled from the mining town of Poker Flat and forced to endure the harsh elements of the Sierra Nevada wilderness.
The main characters in the story include John Oakhurst, a professional gambler; Tom Simson, a young and naive lover; Mother Shipton, a prostitute; Uncle Billy, a town drunk; and the Duchess, another prostitute. These characters are considered undesirable by the townspeople of Poker Flat and are therefore exiled.
As the group travels through the wilderness, they face numerous challenges and hardships. They are forced to confront the harsh realities of nature and their own mortality, as they struggle to survive in the face of hunger, cold, and danger.
Despite these challenges, the group remains united and supportive of one another. They work together to overcome their difficulties, showing a strong sense of loyalty and compassion towards one another.
Throughout the story, Harte explores themes of morality, social justice, and human nature. He suggests that society's judgments of individuals are often misguided and that people are capable of redemption and change.
Ultimately, "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" is a powerful and poignant tale that highlights the resilience and strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. It is a story that speaks to the timeless struggles of human beings to find acceptance and belonging in a world that is often hostile and unforgiving.
The outcasts of Poker Flat : Harte, Bret, 1836
Consider his reaction in relation to other characters, as it continues to define his character throughout the remainder of the story and establishes him as a heroic figure. Oakhurst and Mother Shipton, who was actually relaxing into amiability. After the game was finished, Mr. The spot was singularly wild and impressive. Oakhurst overruled this narrower local prejudice. Oakhurst knew that scarcely half the journey to Sandy Bar was accomplished, and the party were not equipped or provisioned for delay. They slept all that day and the next, nor did they waken when voices and footsteps broke the silence of the camp.
Don't try it over again. Oakhurst took the Innocent aside, and showed him a pair of snowshoes, which he had fashioned from the old pack saddle. He listened calmly to Mother Shipton's desire to cut somebody's heart out, to the repeated statements of the Duchess that she would die in the road, and to the alarming oaths that seemed to be bumped out of Uncle Billy as he rode forward. Two of them make it as far as the nearest tree. She that used to wait on the table at the Temperance House? They kept this attitude for the rest of the day. Luck," continued the gambler reflectively, "is a mighty queer thing. If you ain't—and perhaps you'd better not—you can wait till Uncle Billy gets back with provisions.
Toward morning he awoke benumbed and cold. Two or three men, conversing earnestly together, ceased as he approached, and exchanged significant glances. Night came, but not Mr. The plot is simple; several people are exiled from a town, are caught in a snow storm, and die. And yet no one complained. Thus, it is a value-judgement and not based upon law. Suddenly an idea mingled with the alcoholic fumes that disturbed his brain.
The cavalcade provoked no comments from the spectators, nor was any word uttered by the escort. Toward morning they found themselves unable to feed the fire, which gradually died away. It bore the following, written in pencil in a firm hand:— BENEATH THIS TREE LIES THE BODY OF JOHN OAKHURST, WHO STRUCK A STREAK OF BAD LUCK ON THE 23D OF NOVEMBER 1850. What could be seen of the landscape appeared magically changed. A secret committee had determined to rid the town of all improper persons. Oakhurst seldom troubled himself with sentiment, still less with propriety; but he had a vague idea that the situation was not fortunate. It was, undoubtedly, the most suitable spot for a camp, had camping been advisable.
Realism in “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” by Bret H
But it revealed drift on drift of snow piled high around the hut,—a hopeless, uncharted, trackless sea of white lying below the rocky shores to which the castaways still clung. Search authors for Harte, Bret. In point of fact, Poker Flat was "after somebody. She is eager to marry Tom, but was forced to run away with him because her father disapproves of their union. Tom Simson is innocent, but Mr. Oakhurst seems to be trying to shield Tom Simson from the dishonorable Uncle Billy. Mother Shipton saw it, and from a remote pinnacle of her rocky fastness hurled in that direction a final malediction.
Yet he could not help feeling the want of that excitement which, singularly enough, was most conducive to that calm equanimity for which he was notorious. But turning to where Uncle Billy had been lying, he found him gone. GradeSaver, 23 October 2012 Web. Customarily, people would claim a certain area during their search for gold and leave their gold in the sluice for short intervals of time if needed. One of the goals of the literary genre regional-realism is to realistically depict the particular vernacular of a certain region. Oakhurst as a kind of exception to the rule.
The tracks were already rapidly disappearing in the snow. But the crowning festivity of the evening was reached in a rude camp-meeting hymn, which the lovers, joining hands, sang with great earnestness and vociferation. The accordion and the bones were put aside that day, and Homer was forgotten. And pulseless and cold, with a Derringer by his side and a bullet in his heart, though still calm as in life, beneath the snow lay he who was at once the strongest and yet the weakest of the outcasts of Poker Flat. Uncle Billy passed rapidly from a bellicose state into one of stupor, the Duchess became maudlin, and Mother Shipton snored.
. At midnight the storm abated, the rolling clouds parted, and the stars glittered keenly above the sleeping camp. And it's finding out when it's going to change that makes you. But, unluckily, the Innocent met this objection by assuring the party that he was provided with an extra mule loaded with provisions and by the discovery of a rude attempt at a log house near the trail. Trojan bully and wily Greek wrestled in the winds, and the great pines in the canon seemed to bow to the wrath of the son of Peleus. Oakhurst was right in supposing that he was included in this category.
The Outcasts of Poker Flat by Bret Harte : Roy Trumbull : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
Oakhurst listened with quiet satisfaction. Oakhurst and Mother Shipton, who was actually relaxing into amiability. Only Mother Shipton—once the strongest of the party— seemed to sicken and fade. It was certain that, in Mother Shipton's words, he "didn't say 'cards' once" during that evening. And yet no one complained.