The Outcasts Of Poker Flat By Bret Harte Essays

The Outcasts Of Poker Flat By Bret Harte Essays

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The person who has done both good and bad things in their life is the person everyone struggles to categorize as truly good or truly evil. They have displayed two opposite sides of themselves; Therefore,deciding if they are truly good or truly evil is impossible. There is a word for this these people,morally ambiguous. The idea of people being morally ambiguous is now a popular idea among authors. The authors are now making their characters morally ambiguous to be more relatable to real people in real life. The Outcasts of Poker Flat by Bret Harte supports these thoughts. In The Outcasts of Poker Flat, Harte uses John Oakhurst,The Duchess, and Piney Woods to display morally ambiguous characters, and relate back to a popular situation of today 's society.

John Oakhurst has a bad reputation, but his actions show him as possessing good characteristics. John Oakhurst possesses a reputation as a feared gambler in the town. When Mr. Oakhurst arrives in town a group of men who were once talking " ceased as he approached, and exchanged significant glances" when the gambler appeared before them(Harte 59).Readers sense that Mr. Oakhurst is a well-known man who is feared by many in the town. The actions towards him makes the audience wonder if he has done something that only the townspeople know about; However he is very popular in a good way among his peers when the group of outcasts are at camp. The group endured many challenges at the camp, and "When the outcasts are trapped by a snowstorm, Oakhurst assumes leadership of the group ", giving them the leadership they need ( Wilson-AVL). Oakhurst takes over the group to make sure everything got done properly. He was also selfless; He gave his good horse to the Duchess, and his money he had ...


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...owing her to die in the most amount of peace possible. This takes some responsibility and awareness Piney is hard to determine as solely good or solely evil, because how was she responsible enough to run away from home, but not responsible enough to have others take care of her until the final moments of her life ?
John Oakhurst, The Duchess, and Piney Woods are all morally ambigous;Therefore, one can not decide weather they are morally good or bad. The characters are not the only people who are great examples; the world is full of people similar to this in everyday real life. The next time society tries to categorize a person as good or evil, and they are indecisive because they have seen signs of both they should consider a new idea. These people who seem to not fit in either category of good or evil can be placed in their own category labeled: Morally Ambigous.

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