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The Outcasts of Poker Flat

by Bret Harte
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Who are the outcasts of Poker Flat?

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The title, "The Outcasts of Poker Flat ," is referencing the four characters who have been thrown out of the town of Poker Flat. Apparently the town of Poker Flat is a beacon of morality, because the town kicked out John Oakhurst, Mother Shipton, Duchess, and Uncle Billy. Why...

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The title, "The Outcasts of Poker Flat," is referencing the four characters who have been thrown out of the town of Poker Flat. Apparently the town of Poker Flat is a beacon of morality, because the town kicked out John Oakhurst, Mother Shipton, Duchess, and Uncle Billy. Why would the town kick out those four people? Supposedly they are moral degenerates who bring nothing positive to the town.  

I would definitely agree with that in regards to Uncle Billy. That guy is a nasty drunk. He only thinks of himself, which is why he steals the horses and supplies and leaves everybody for dead.

The Duchess and Mother Shipton are prostitutes, which is not exactly a highly moral, glamorous occupation, but as the story progresses, it is obvious that the two women are strong and caring women. Mother Shipton starves herself so that other members of the group have a chance at living.

Last is John Oakhurst. He's a gambler. What's funny about him being kicked out of town is that there is no way that he was gambling alone, yet he is the only gambler who was kicked out of Poker Flat. To me, that sounds like John Oakhurst was kicked out for winning too much. He must be a good gambler. 

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