The Outcasts Of Poker Flats Character Analysis

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To find hidden goodness for these characters you have to look deep into the story and really focus on the foreshadowed theme. In the story, “The Outcasts of Poker Flats,” by Bret Harte hidden goodness is the theme of the entire story. In this story hidden goodness can be found even in the most objectionable characters as shown by the actions of John Oakhurst, Mother Shipton, and the Duchess. Let's talk about the first main character, John Oakhurst. He was a very good gambler that actually was a kind man who was misinterpreted as can outcast. Here is an example from the text where John shows his kindness to Tom Simson. “He had met him some months before over a “little game,” and had, with perfect equanimity, won the entire fortune--amounting to some forty dollars--of that guileless youth. After the game was finished, Mr. Oakhurst drew the youthful speculator behind the door and thus addressed him: “Tommy, you’re a good little man, but you can’t gamble worth a cent. Don’t try it over again.” He then handed him his money back, pushed him gently from the room, and so made a…show more content…
She runs a prostitution ring and that's why she’s considered can outcast. We know that she may have done bad things like hiring prostitutes but while traveling with the group she also shows that she is selfless. Here is an example from the text where she shows hidden goodness and selflessness. “Take the bundle from under my head and open it.” Mr. Oakhurst did so. It contained Mother Shipton's rations for the last week , untouched. “give ‘em to the child,” she said, pointing to the sleeping Piney.” By starving herself for Piney it shows that she’s selfless and it shows her kind personality which brings out the hidden goodness. Mother Shipton also took on a mother feeling for the group and liked to take care of everyone at one point. Mother Shipton hired the Duchess and she did some bad things as well but she still tries to keep everyone in the group
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