Ambiguity Of Bret Harte's The Outcasts Of Poker Flat

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Intro - In The Outcasts of Poker Flat, Bret Harte creates John Oakhurst to be morally ambiguous to express that one should not judge others at first glance.

II. Bret Harte creates John Oakhurst In The Outcasts of Poker Flat to be morally ambiguous.

A. “‘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 devoted slave of Tom Simson” (Harte 77).
1. In this piece of evidence from the story, Oakhurst is showing generosity in giving Tom his money back. This is a side we see of Oakhurst to be the desirable side of him.
2. Gamblers as we know them have always been close to their money. People have
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Kolb is fitting the idea of ambiguity in this section. This piece of evidence supports that people have a different interpretation of Oakhurst than the people that really get to know him later in the story, and supports that people should not judge others from the outside and first appearance.

III. In The Outcasts of Poker Flat, Bret Harte uses John Oakhurst’s ambiguity to express that one should not judge others at first glance.

“He was too much of a gambler not to accept Fate” (77). 1. In this piece of evidence, John has been pointed out to be a gambler, and too much of one not to receive what he deserves. This means that people think that he should be kicked out because he was a gambler, which mean they see that as a bad way of living and a bad influence. 2. Later in the story, John is seen giving Tom his money back from where he lost at gambling (Harte 77). This is something that would be seen as kind, and would not be expected from somebody that is a gambler and has been kicked out of the town.

B. “Besides Mr. Oakhurst, who was known to be a cooly desperate man, and for whose intimidation the armed escort was intended …” (Harte
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Later in the story, One gets to know that Oakhurst is actually a man that keeps up with himself. Harte notes, “He bestirred himself in dusting his black clothes, washing his hands and face, and other acts characteristic of his studiously neat habits, and for a moment forgot his annoyance” (77). This is something you would not think to see from someone that gambles and risks all they have. Oakhurst from this is seen as a clean and he forces himself into good habits. This is another reason shown why people should not judge people at first glance C. “A secret committee had determined to rid the town of all improper persons (Kolb 90). 1. In this criticism, Kolb gives us the overall reason why the town decided to kick people out of the town. The words “improper persons” mentioned in this is the basis of what the story is all about. All the people that have traits as a improper human will need to leave the town. This is a big part of the story, and is where people, like John Oakhurst, are being judged by people that don’t even know them very well. 2. These people are kicked out of the town and it ends up being their demise that they were judged. Oakhurst and the others showed acts of kindness and caring after they were kicked out. These people were people anybody would be able to like because of the things they did. This shows and supports the meaning that you should not judge others at first

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