John Oakhurst Character Analysis

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John Oakhurst Character Analysis Not many men would stand by strangers in a life or death situation, but that is just the type of man John Oakhurst is in “The Outcasts of Poker Flats” written by Bret Harte. Although his character is a professional gambler, Oakhurst carries a soft spot for his fellow exiles. He could just walk away, and save himself. He not only cares about their well-being; he acts as a leader for the outcasts. Without John the group would not have a chance at surviving. Harte writes, “The thought of deserting his weaker and more pitiable companions never perhaps occurred to him” (Harte) John Oakhurst is a man of honor and courage, no matter his profession. Having spent many years as a gambler, the reader is initially led to believe John Oakhurst is a cold man. Oakhurst also describes this of himself while he is considering his lack of alcohol consumption, and the author writes, “It interfered with a profession which required coolness, impassiveness, and presence of mind…” (Harte). The reader infers from this that he holds…show more content…
He takes the lead naturally, and begins considering their options positively, after Uncle Billy raids and abandons them. Oakhurst, choosing not to tell the two kids of what Uncle Billy has done exhibits his gentleness even further. Without the mules it is plain that the group would have no idea on what to do, if it isn’t for John. The orator states, “For some occult reason, Mr. Oakhurst could not bring himself to disclose Uncle Billy’s rascality, and so offered the hypothesis that he had wandered from the camp and had accidentally stampeded the animals.” (Harte) With the children thinking that help is on the way, Oakhurst and his two adult companions take on a heavy weight of guilt. They must make their provisions last as long as possible, and pray for the
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