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|The Outcasts of Poker Flat PDF|
|No. Of Pages: 14|
|PDF Size: 1.9 MB|
|Category: eBooks & Novels|
|Source: Drive Files|
The Outcasts of Poker Flat Summary
Thank you for taking the time to read this SuperSummary Plot Summary of Bret Harte’s “The Outcasts Of Poker Flat.” SuperSummary is a contemporary alternative to SparkNotes and CliffNotes that provides high-quality study aids with extensive chapter summaries and analyses of significant themes, characters, quotations, and essay ideas.
Bret Harte penned “The Outcasts of Poker Flat,” a short tale published in 1869, and is recognised for his western stories. It’s an example of Naturalism, a literary style that emphasises observation and scientific technique in tale telling, as well as the notion that nature is uncaring of humanity and will not show pity.
The narrative opens in Poker Flat, California, a community in economic and moral decline, according to some. A secret council gathers to assess who is unworthy to reside in the town in order to preserve it and restore its good reputation. Two people are executed and four are exiled when the list is made.
A gambler, John Oakhurst; two prostitutes, the Duchess and Mother Shipton; and a thief, Uncle Billy, are among those who have been exiled. They are taken to the outskirts of town by an armed guard, who then departs, ordering them not to return. They are left to fend for themselves in the woods.
After considerable deliberation, they decide to go to Sandy Bar, a camp about a day’s drive away that hasn’t been affected by Poker Flat’s moral preconceptions. They hike over the highlands, but the Duchess is fatigued by midday and refuses to continue without stopping to rest. They’ve all had a few drinks and have come to the same conclusion. Oakhurst, the only one who isn’t inebriated, begs them to keep going, but he’s outnumbered.
Oakhurst is unhappy and lonely. He resolves not to quit his fellow exiles, despite the fact that he considers them pitiful as he watches them sleep. He hears his name shouted out from the woods as he sits pondering over the events of the day.
Tom Simson, the Innocent of Sandy Bar, emerges from the woods, having once lost a large sum of money to Oakhurst playing poker. Piney Wood, a young lady whom he plans to marry, is following him. They’re making their way to Poker Flat in the hopes of making it big.
Simson is dedicated to Oakhurst since he once restored the young man’s wealth to him. He informs the party that he has an additional mule and has discovered an abandoned cabin in the woods. Despite the fact that it lacks a roof, the gang chooses to set up camp there.
Oakhurst is unable to convince the gang to change their minds, so they arrive to the cabin and set up camp. It starts to snow later that night. In the morning, Oakhurst realises that the mules, along with Uncle Billy, have vanished. He claims Billy went seeking for them, but the Duchess and Mother Shipton are aware of the situation. When the snow continues to fall, the crew attempts to fix the roof as best they can in order to wait out the storm.
As the snow continues to fall, food supplies begin to deplete. Mother Shipton, sick and feeble, admits to Oakhurst that she has been saving her food rations for Piney, and she dies of famine on the ninth day while they are still snowbound. Oakhurst announces that unless they take action, they will all perish shortly.
Simson is sent on a perilous trek back to seek assistance, and Oakhurst joins him for part of the voyage. In the cabin, the Duchess and Piney are left alone. They fall asleep in one other’s arms as their fire fades. A rescue team discovers them dead days later, and the group is unable to determine which is the prostitute and which is the innocent.
A third corpse, with a gunshot in the heart, is discovered under a tree near the gulch’s head. The corpse is Oakhurst, according to a letter written on a deuce of clubs and affixed to a tree with a knife. According to the message, he experienced a run of poor luck at the start of his banishment and eventually gave in his checks.
The boundary between innocence and guilt is one of the story’s primary themes. The story’s idea is based on the ability to distinguish between the two. The residents of Poker Flat differentiate between them based on what is legal or commonly accepted principles, but the author utilises the story’s course to blur that distinction. The line is confusing towards the end.
Uncle Billy, who takes advantage of his fellow exiles for his personal benefit, is the sole figure who proves the secret council correct. Others show selflessness by giving up their lives for the greater benefit. For example, Mother Shipton dies so that another person may survive. When the villagers of Poker Flats stumble upon the now-dead party and are unable to discriminate between the “innocent” and the “guilty,” they must face their strict perceptions of good and evil.
The narrative also includes a lot of luck and fate. The narrative exemplifies the Naturalist Movement: everyone is a victim of destiny, and humans have little influence over their life in the face of nature. Despite the redeeming traits that most of them possess, their decisions consign them to death. Despite the fact that Shipton and Oakhurst choose to terminate their lives, we are left wondering whether they had any other options.
“The Outcasts of Poker Flat” takes an unflinching look at how we choose who is good and who isn’t. The divide between good and evil, according to Harte, is not as clear as we frequently believe. Finally, we must recognise that nature makes no discrimination between those she takes and those she does not.
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