Bret Harte's The Outcasts Of Poker Flat

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Bret Harte For this paper, I chose the short story author Bret Harte. I had never heard of him before we read his story “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” for class, but I enjoyed that story, so I thought he would be interesting to read. I read five stories, “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” “Miggles,” “Tennessee’s Partner,” “The Idyl of Red Gulch,” and “Brown of Calaveras.” In these stories, two common themes appeared. They were the theme that hidden beauty exists in the mining camps and frontier towns and the theme that miners and men of the west are not as tough as they may look. “The Luck of Roaring Camp” is about the son of a prostitute. His mother dies in childbirth, so the mining camp he is born in decides to raise him. The boy is taken care…show more content…
One day, she comes across a drunken man underneath an azalea bush, and tries to cover his head with his hat. He doesn’t want to wear his hat so he takes it off. She then tells him to go home and take a bath. For the next few months, the drunken man begins to show favor towards the teacher. He brings her flowers, and carries water for her. At the end of the story, the teacher is getting ready to leave for San Francisco for the summer when the single mother of one of her students comes to her, and begs her to adopt her son. She tells her that the father of the boy is the drunken man. The teacher leaves for San Francisco with the boy, never to…show more content…
In “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” there is hidden beauty in the miners coming together to raise the boy, and also in Kentuck’s giving up his life to save the boy. In “Miggles,” hidden beauty is shown through the beautiful young woman who is taking care of the crippled man simply because she wants to. “The full moon…looked into the room. It touched the lonely figure in the chair with an infinite compassion, and seemed to baptize with a shining flood the lowly head of the woman whose hair, as in the sweet old story, bathed the feet of him she loved” (Harte 41). In “Tennessee’s Partner,” hidden beauty is shown by Tennessee’s Partner in his sentimental feelings towards Tennessee. As the miners leave Tennessee’s Partner after he has just buried Tennessee they look back and see “Tennessee’s Partner, his work done, sitting upon the grave, his shovel between his knees, and his face buried in his red bandanna handkerchief” (Harte 53). In “The Idyl of Red Gulch,” hidden beauty is seen in the azalea bush that brings the schoolteacher and the drunken man together as well as in the nature that surrounds them. “She noticed, however, that every morning a fresh cluster of azalea-blossoms appeared among the flowers on her desk” (Harte 58). In “Brown of Calaveras,” hidden beauty is seen through small things in nature such as birds and shooting stars. “He looked up at the firmament, and as
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