The Outcasts of Poker Flat

The Outcasts of Poker Flat Irony

Uncle Billy's Betrayal (Dramatic Irony)

When Uncle Billy runs off with the group's mules—their sole hope for transportation through the snowy mountain pass—John Oakhurst and the narrator (and therefore the reader) are aware of the damning consequences of this event on Tom, Piney, and John's fellow exiles. However, John chooses not to tell his companions.

John Oakhurst's Luck (Situational Irony)

It is ironic that John Oakhurst is a skilled gambler renown for winning poker games, yet he succumbs to what he envisions as his cosmic lack of fortune by killing himself at the story's close. The playing card that he uses to mark his grave symbolizes this ultimate irony.

The Exile (Situational Irony)

It is ironic that the town of Poker Flat believes it is purging the town of evil by hypocritically banishing people, itself an ultimately nefarious act.

Trees (Situational Irony)

It is ironic that two of the characters are named after trees (Piney Woods and John Oakhurst) and they both die in the forest.

The Innocent (Situational Irony)

It is ironic that Tom Simson is called The Innocent yet he ends up in the company of four people who have been exiled from Poker Flat because they were deemed improper.

Tom's Fate (Situational Irony)

It is ironic that Tom sets out for Poker Flat to "seek his fortune," yet he actually meets his demise by doing so.