20 February 2014
Redeeming Qualities of Characters from “The Outcasts of Poker Flat”
In “The Outcasts of Poker Flat”, each “immoral” character has redeeming qualities. Mother Shipton, a brothel owner, is the first to make the greatest sacrifice for another shows one of her redeeming qualities and her motherly nature. The Duchess, a prostitute, shows her redeeming qualities through being almost like an elder sister to Piney. And John Oakhurst, who despite his better knowledge of the situation, continues on with the group of outcasts and their young friends and continues to help until his unexpected end. Despite their lowly characteristics, these three characters put forth amazing redeeming qualities which make them much higher than the hypocritical townspeople who banished them from Poker Flat.
Mother Shipton is banished from Poker Flat for being a brothel owner. Despite this low standing part of her she has several redeeming qualities that redeem her from her past mistakes. The first redeeming quality she shows is her motherly nature toward not only Piney but the Duchess as well. Such as when she “requested Piney not to “chatter.”” (p. 488) when Piney said ““I reckon now you’re used to fine things at Poker Flat,”” (p. 488) this being her protecting the Duchess from embarrassment and protecting Piney’s innocence. She also seems to show this side of her to Oakhurst as when she mentions that ““he 'didn't say ‘cards’ once” during that evening” (p. 488) almost like a mother doting on the fact that her son had interest in something else besides his interest such as videogames today, Oakhurst’s equivalent being card games. Another redeeming quality she has is her sacrificing herself for Piney’s sake. “At midnight on the tenth day she called Oakhurst to her side” (p. 490) and tells him that she is dying. She tells him not to “waken the kids” (p. 490) and take the bundle she is using as a pillow. Within the bundle is her...
Cited: Perkins, George, and Barbara Perkins. The American Tradition in Literature. 12th. New York City: McGrawHill, 2009. Print.
"The Outcasts of Poker Flat." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 13 Feb 2014. Web. 19 Feb 2014. .
Nichols, Leslie. "Characters." The Outcasts of Poker Flat. WordPress, 4 May 2011. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. .
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