Build a Fire in Poker Flat
In both the stories “The Outcast of Poker Flat” by Bret Harte and “To Build a Fire” by Jack London, the role of regionalism is very prominent and it plays a very vital role in both stories. If the region of either of these stories were to be changed, then neither of them would work the way the writers intended them to. Although both “The Outcast of Poker Flat” and “To Build a Fire” capture the essence of their regions, one does it better than the other.
The role of regionalism is so important to “The Outcast of Poker Flat” for many reasons. One of which is very simple; if this story took place in a different climate the story wouldn’t work anymore. Seeing as this story takes place in the “dry, cold, bracing air of the Sierras” (Harte, 485) it simply wouldn’t work if it took place in the rain forest or the desert or on an island. The outcasts of Poker Flats died because of the freezing snow. This can’t happen anywhere else. Another example of how regionalism is expressed in “The Outcast of Poker Flat” is the fact that the town is full of gamblers. In the 1850’s there was a huge gold rush in California so gambling skyrocketed. This is shown in “The Outcast of Poker Flat” and it is very important because gambling is why Mr. Oakhurst is kicked out of town. If this story didn’t take place in California then the gold rush wouldn’t have been a factor so gambling wouldn’t have been so prominent and Mr. Oakhurst wouldn’t have been kicked out of town. “The Outcast of Poker Flat” puts a lot of emphasis on regionalism throughout the story from start to finish. “To Build a Fire” does the same thing but in a sort of different way.
Regionalism in “To Build a Fire” is vital to the story for many reasons. Just like in “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” the main character in the story dies of freezing in the snow and because of this fact this story also wouldn’t work if it took place in a rain forest or the desert or on an island. Another reason why...
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