Do you agree with the statement that modern Westerns find their beginnings with "Outcasts of Poker Flats"? Explain why or why not.

Asked on by magninja

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amymc | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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This is a very interesting question, and I would definitely agree.  This story opens with a group of irreputable individuals who have been run out of an 1850s California town in November.  Though they have no happy ending, the altruism of these so-called evil-doers gives rise to the popular theme of forgiveness, friendship, loyalty and perserverence found in most westerns.  These characters, a gambler, a prostitute, a madam, and a drunken theif have become stock characters in many westerns of print, film and song.

Most westerns begin with a loner-type individual who is viewed suspicially by others.

These loners are thus called upon to work outside the town itself to selflessing prevent some conflict or to right some wrong.  Many times these loners must team up with some unlikely cohort such as Rooster Cogburn and the young girl.  The character Oakhurst fits this role as he works with a prostitute and a madam to try to save a young couple.


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