Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What examples of vivid sensory details can you find in “The Luck of Roaring Camp”? What do they contribute to the story?

How plausible is the motivation of the characters in “The Outcasts of Poker Flat”?

What, other than his virtual invention of the genre, were Bret Harte’s contributions to the American Western story?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Harte’s type of third-person narration?

What facts of the second half of Harte’s life (including extraneous events) best account for his literary decline?