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Outcasts of Poker Flat Essay | Critical Essay #3

This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Outcasts of Poker Flat.
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Critical Essay #3

A former professional football player with the Kansas City Chiefs (1970-74), Oriard is an English professor who has focused much of his study upon the relationship between sports and American culture. He has gone so far as to say, "To understand America, understand American games and play. " In the following excerpt from a recent book on that relationship, Oriard explores the character of John Oakhurst as an emblem of "sporting fatalism" and discusses the effect on Harte's narrative strategy.

The major sporting figure in Harte's fiction, the frontier gambler, juxtaposed nobility and moral outrage in a similar way. In Harte's three most famous tales-"The Luck of Roaring Camp" (Overland Monthly, August 1868), "Tennessee's Partner" (Overland Monthly, October 1869), and "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" (Overland Monthly, January 1869)-the professional gambler emerges as a gamesman by trade but a transcendent sportsman by instinct and action. He is a fatalist in...

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This section contains 461 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Outcasts of Poker Flat Study Guide
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Outcasts of Poker Flat from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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