The Outcasts of Poker Flat

contrast Harte's portrayal of the towns people with that of the outcasts

Outcasts of Poker Flat

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The story is located in Poker Flat, a small Californian community. Certain inhabitants of Poker Flat feel that the community is going down the hill. They have lost a lot of money and the morals of people are thought to be sinking. Consequently a secret committee is elected. This committee decides who will be killed and who expatriated. On November 23, 1850 four people are exiled. There is irony and hypocrisy in this decision. The "upstanding" people do things that are considered just as bad but they are secretive about them. The people exiled have a sincerity and authenticity about them that the townspeople lack.