Nederlands | English | Deutsch | Türkçe

Project Sports

Questions and answers about sports

Who is the most admirable character in The Outcasts of Poker Flat?

3 min read

Asked by: Xiaoyu Schneidewind

While all of the characters of Bret Harte’s “Outcasts of Poker Flat” easily engage the reader’s sympathy, with the exception of the treacherous Uncle Billy, it’s difficult not to feel that the heroic self-sacrifice of Mother Shipton makes her the most admirable of the group.

What kind of character is John Oakhurst?

John Oakhurst is the strong, silent type, always unruffled in times of trouble. So when he is exiled to the next town over—forced to make the dangerous journey through the mountains to get there—he barely even blinks.

What kind of character is Duchess from The Outcasts of Poker Flat?


The Duchess, whose real name is never revealed, is a prostitute in the Old West settlement of Poker Flat and is exiled for her immorality. She is forced to make the difficult journey through the mountains to the next town over with a few other unsavory characters: John Oakhurst, Mother Shipton, and Uncle Billy.

Who is the innocent in the Outcasts of Poker Flat?

Tom Simson

Nicknamed “The Innocent,” Tom is Piney’s fiancé and an acquaintance of Oakhurst’s. He is a young man from the next town over—Sandy Bar, where the outcasts are headed—and is making the journey to Poker Flat to elope with Piney and begin a new life.

Why is Oakhurst strongest and weakest?

In what sense is the “the strongest and yet the weakest of the outcasts of Poker Flat”? Oakhurst- he is strong and generous and cares for others. He is weak in his moral code.

Who are the main characters in the Outcast of Poker Flat?

The Outcasts of Poker Flat Characters

  • John Oakhurst. …
  • Uncle Billy. …
  • The Duchess. …
  • Mother Shipton. …
  • Tom Simson. …
  • Piney Woods. …
  • Jim Wheeler.

What type of character is Mother Shipton?


Like the Duchess, Mother Shipton is a prostitute who is exiled from Poker Flat along with Oakhurst and Uncle Billy. She is a crude woman with a vocabulary to match, and she often laments her circumstances with long strings of curse words.

Why does the narrator describe Oakhurst as he who was at once the strongest and yet the weakest of the Outcasts of Poker Flat?

Harte ends the story calling John Oakhurst “at once the strongest and yet the weakest of the outcasts of Poker Flat.” The strength refers to the gambler’s bravery and composure in the face of death, but Harte also suggests that there are limits to this uncomplaining acceptance of hardship.

What is Uncle Billy laughing about?

……. Uncle Billy is about to laugh but remembers Oakhurst’s foot. So he walks off up the canyon, out of hearing range, then does his laughing.

Why did they banish Oakhurst instead of hanging him?

Terms in this set (10)
Why did they banish Oakhurst instead of hanging him? It is part of Oakhurst’s business, as a gambler, to be aware of what other people have on their minds, as in a poker game.

Why was the duchess banished?

Bosola eventually discovers that the Duchess is pregnant but does not know who the father is. Ferdinand, shown by now to be a depraved lunatic, threatens and disowns the Duchess. In an attempt to escape, she and Antonio concoct a story that Antonio has swindled her out of her fortune and must flee into exile.

Who dies in the Outcasts of Poker Flat?

Mother Shipton

Mother Shipton begins to fade rapidly, and on the 10th day, she pulls Oakhurst aside and privately tells him that she’s been starving herself, saving her rations so that Piney can live a little longer. She dies quietly, and the group turns somber.