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. The proposed methodology is to identify the similarities between one of his short story - ‘The…
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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 25th of August, 1836. He moved to California when his father died in 1853.His initial exposure were through a weekly newspaper, he did the editing and writing for Northern California. Harte started contributing his articles and short stories in 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 work. 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 (Merriman).
The story of Outcasts of Poker Flat centers around four characters , Gambler John Oakhurst, two prostitutes The Duchess, Mother Shipton and a drunkard robber Uncle Billy who were labeled as immoral and were out casted from Poker flat on November 23, 1850 (Bret 19-21). They decided to head towards Sandy Bar, another town. They meet Tom Simson and his 15 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 on 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 out casted ones, ‘The gambler’ who commits suicide by shooting himself as his body
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