She reveals to Oakhurst that she has saved her share of the rations from the last week so that the girl, Piney Woods, will have a better chance to survive, and then she dies. Oakhurst accompanies him for part of the way, and the Duchess and Piney Woods are left alone in the cabin. A note, printed on the deuce of clubs, is pinned to the tree with a bowie knife. Oakhurst won the youth’s entire fortune, but he returned it with the advice that Simson should never gamble again. © 2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Consequently a secret committee is elected. Having been expelled from Poker Flat by a vigilate group determined to cast out any... How was John Oakhurst heroic in The Outcasts of Poker Flat? Copyright © 1999 - 2020 GradeSaver LLC. (Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition). The town’s “moral atmosphere” has changed, and Oakhurst knows that the town is “after somebody.”. Only Oakhurst maintains the same ambivalent moral identity throughout the story, relying on luck rather than morality to guide him. For the first time since he became a gambler, he is lonely and depressed. They have lost a lot of money and the morals of people are thought to be sinking. When the group reaches the … Even Tom’s accordion seems worried by their predicament, producing music in “fitful spasms and long-drawn gasps.” Only when the party has died does Harte compare the ceasing snow to a more peaceful image—“white-winged birds”—therein calling to mind the white dove sent to signify the end of the purifying flood in the Bible. The gambler does not drink, because he believes that it would interfere with his profession. The gambler assumes that they will all die soon unless something is done. He sends Simson on the difficult journey to Poker Flat in an attempt to get help. Mother Shipton begins to fade rapidly, and on the 10th day, she pulls Oakhurst aside and privately tells him that she’s been starving herself, saving her rations so that Piney can live a little longer.

The kind act won for the gambler a devoted friend. Although Sandy Bar is the next closest settlement, it’s on the other side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, making it one long, intense travel day away. Tom is still cheerful as ever, and over the next few days he leads the group in camp songs and storytelling. It’s an example of Naturalism, a literary movement emphasizing observation and scientific method in story telling, as well as the idea that nature is indifferent to humankind and will show no mercy. The Innocent reports that he has an extra mule with provisions, and that he has located a roofless cabin. Simson provides an accordion and a copy of Alexander Pope’s translation of Homer’s Iliad (750 b.c.e. “Just you go out there and cuss, and see.” She then set herself to the task of amusing “the child,” as she and the... The_______ characters in "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" have little chance of survival because they were trapped in a snowstorm. After an armed escort abandons them on the outskirts of the settlement, with a warning never to return, they decide to head for Sandy Bar, a camp that has not yet experienced the regenerating influences of Poker Flat. It states that John Oakhurst had a streak of bad luck and handed in his checks on December 7, 1850. His premonition is correct, as a secret committee has determined, in its local prejudice, to rid the community of certain undesirable people. Our, “Would not have made it through AP Literature without the printable PDFs. Pinned to a tree with a knife is a playing card, the deuce of clubs, upon which Oakhurst has scribbled his epitaph, claiming to have “struck a streak of bad luck.” Oakhurst, who shot himself in the heart, appears just as stoic in death as he did in life. the First Half of the Story Summary and Analysis. It is a long day’s journey through the mountains, and by noon the Duchess declares that she will go no farther without a rest. What is the cause of this recent change? From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our. It snows during the night, and in the morning Oakhurst discovers that Uncle Billy has absconded with the mules and most of the supplies. The snow, however, does not abate, and the food supply dwindles. That is the way they are discovered by a tardy rescue party several days later. Although the sun initially appears “regretful,” Harte eventually compares the snow to a “prison” via metaphor. Teachers and parents! Got it! These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Outcasts of Poker Flat by Bret Harte. In "The Outcasts of Poker Flat," Bret Harte plays the irony of the supposedly righteous do-gooders of the town off against the sincerity revealed by the outcasts in their extremity as they are... eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. Soon, the Duchess declares that she will go no further and insists they set up camp. The Question and Answer section for The Outcasts of Poker Flat is a great On the day of his exile, Oakhurst finds himself in the company of three other “improper persons”: two prostitutes who go by the names Mother Shipton and the Duchess, as well as a drunkard and suspected thief called Uncle Billy.

; English translation, 1611) for entertainment.

The irony of such an ending is enforced by the complicated nature of guilt and innocence running through the story’s second half, where Oakhurst serves as a kind of moral middle ground between innocent and improper.

The third body is found under a tree at the head of the gulch. At first, the travelers attempt to entertain themselves by singing and listening to Tom play accordion and tell stories like The Iliad around the campfire. Harte also begins to personify the party’s natural environment, imbuing it with increasing viciousness. Oakhurst knows that camping is a bad idea—they don’t have food or supplies to sustain their journey. "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" (1869) is a short story written by author of the American West Bret Harte. He is, the narrator affirms, “at once the strongest and yet the weakest of the outcasts of Poker Flat.”, Instant downloads of all 1364 LitChart PDFs Slowly, however, their rations dwindle, and the group faces the harsh reality that they may not make it to their destinations.



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