September 13, 2012
College English 2
The Outcasts of Poker Flat and the Metaphor of Texas Hold ‘em The story of “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” by Bret Harte is a beautifully written narrative about a character named Mr. John Oakhurst. During the story, Oakhurst is placed through a variety of situations that eventually lead to his subtle death. The story of “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” follows as a parallel to the game of Texas Hold ‘em in a very unique way.
In the game of Texas Hold ‘em, every player is given two cards. This states the metaphor for where Mr. Oakhurst is currently at and what variables he has been given. In the beginning of the story Mr. Oakhurst is known to be a professional gambler and he has been kicked out of the town of Poker flat along with a few more Outcasts named the Duchess, Mother Shipton, and a man named Uncle Billy. Considering the fact they have been kicked out of the community, they now have to venture to the closest town, over a range of mountains, named Sandy Bar (1,2). They have a limited supply of goods to make it there, and these are the cards they have been given.
The next turn of events in the game of Texas Hold ‘em is called the “flop.” In this turn, three cards are flipped over for everyone’s use in hope that the gamblers will have a better chance at winning the hand. These three cards are variables. The flop can sometimes benefit the gambler, and the other time the cards don’t help at all. In the story, the variables given to Mr. Oakhurst are three hindrances. One variable in the story is during the middle of the first night there are some added guests to the campsite for the night. These guests are named Tom Simson and Piney Woods (3). This makes the living situation for the night a little more difficult. The second variable happens in that same night. Uncle Billy goes on his own way without the rest of the outcasts. To make the situation even worse, Uncle Billy took the mules from...