Name Module Instructor Date The Outcasts of Poker Flat by Bret Harte: Analyzing the Inspirations from the Real Tragedy of Donner Party Author Bret Harte, an American author from the late 19th century, was an absolute genius whose short stories centered on the early Californian life that he was well acquainted with…
Download file to see previous pages...
I will try to examine the similarities and differences between the two and how possibly the incident could have inspired the author to develop his own literary creation, which is considered a classic today. The conclusion of this research will be based on my observation. Francis Brett Harte was born in Albany New York on the 25th of August, 1836. He moved to California when his father died in 1853.His initial exposure was through a weekly newspaper: he did editing and writing for Northern California. Harte started contributing his articles and short stories to the journal The Golden Era under the name The Bohemian or Bret. His freelance writing flourished when he started working as a superintendent’s secretary of the United States Mint. Californian mining camp was his favorite theme and is often found in many of his works. The Lost Galleon and Other Tales (1867) is considered to be his first major work. He died of throat cancer in the year 1902 on May 5th ("Bret Harte"). The story of “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” centers around four characters: Gambler John Oakhurst; two prostitutes, The Duchess and Mother Shipton; and a drunkard robber Uncle Billy, who were labeled as immoral and were outcast from Poker Flat on the 23rd November, 1850 (Bret 19-21). They decided to head towards Sandy Bar, another town. They meet Tom Simson and his fifteen-year old lover Piney Woods, who ran away to get married at Poker Flat. The travelers took shelter in a camp; Uncle Billy ditched them by sensing the arrival of a snow storm and ran away with their horses and mules. Mother Shipten starved herself to death while saving the food for Piney. Tom goes to Poker Flat to seek help, being advised by Oakhurst. The Law of Poker Flat, upon reaching the site, discovered the bodies of two women hugging in a peaceful repose. Bret clearly identifies the weakest member of the outcast ones, The Gambler, who commits suicide by shooting himself as his body lies beneath a tree with his tragic fate (Bret 34-42). The tragedy of Donner Party is a real incident involving a group of 89 emigrants headed by Jacob and George Donner, who left Springfield in an attempt to discover a shorter route to California. They were ditched by their trail guide, who fled away without any trail marks. They surpassed the time to cross the Nevada Mountains, encountered heavy snowfall and were trapped for several days. They circumstances eventually made them resort to cannibalism in order to survive (Daniel "Log Entries for April, 1847"). The Donner Party Diary has been compiled by Daniel Rosen, where in the April log, he mentions, “It is likely that the Donner children survived by eating the flesh of Jacob Donner” (Daniel "Log Entries for April, 1847"). It is beyond any doubts that the tragedy might have inspired Bret to develop a plot where people are trapped in a snowstorm and are unable to complete their journey. Considering the similarities in the story, a fellow member ran away with their mules while in the real incident, the Donner members were ditched by their trail guide, who misguided them. However, in a documentary, the writer Harold Schindler blames the emigrants for taking such a risky decision of travelling, which turned out to be disastrous. It was the greed, ambitions and hope for a better life that trapped
...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
(“American Literature Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/literature/1468556-american-literature
(American Literature Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words)
“American Literature Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/literature/1468556-american-literature.
The author explains that American literature found its base on the pillars of colonialism. The romantic period in American literature initiated prior to the outbreak of the civil war and continued during the outbreak years as well. The romantic period in American literature roughly extended from the year 1850 to 1865.
It is the story of four men, who survived a shipwreck and ended up in a small lifeboat, only to find themselves stuck around huge waves, waiting to engulf them. It shows the conflict between these four men and the sea around them as well as the determination in these men to work together in an effort to save them from that havoc situation.
For quite a few decades, America happened to be an assortment of colonies scattered across the Eastern cost of North America. Hence the earliest American literature, predominantly a colonial literature, relied for its inspiration on the British literary models and themes that constituted the earliest of the American literature and the immediate socio-political issues faced by the colonies.
Both versions portray a man’s struggle for survival in the Alaskan wilderness, while the difference in the latter version is that the man succumbs to death in the freezing cold, regretting his decision to venture on such a dangerous trail all by himself, against the good
Although American literature progressed systematically in the 16th century, however, analysis has indicated that the American literature developed gradually as a Colonial literature that involved letter and pamphlet writings for colonial
Soon after this discovery, the West Indies were dominated by Spain among other countries in a bid to control their land and natural resources. Columbus sent a letter to royal officials within the government that provided a description of
“The Revolt of ‘Mother’” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman is a story which revolves around the role of making a decision in a family. This is due to the fact that women of the patriarchal society of this story were
A careful analysis of the diction throughout this description reveals the American fallacy of almost obsessive attention to material possessions. It is clear that Henry David Thoreau attempts to make that connection in his writing. He clearly depicts the clash of American Dream and the greed, slavery in which the government becomes greedy.
He further asserts that the new American must entertain new ideas and form new opinions. The letters brought forth the idea that America by then comprised settlers who formed a nation based on shared dreams: freedom and equality. Additionally, St. John de
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
GOT A TRICKY QUESTION? RECEIVE AN ANSWER FROM STUDENTS LIKE YOU!
Let us find you another Essay on topic American Literature for FREE!