Redeeming Qualities of Characters from “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” In “The Outcasts of Poker Flat”, each “immoral” character has redeeming qualities. Mother Shipping, a brothel owner, is the first to make the greatest sacrifice for another shows one of her redeeming qualities and her motherly nature. The Duchess, a prostitute, shows her redeeming qualities through being almost like an elder sister to Piney. And John Croakers, who despite his better knowledge of the situation, continues on with the group of outcasts and their young friends and continues to elf until his unexpected end.
Despite their lowly characteristics, these three characters put forth amazing redeeming qualities which make them much higher than the hypocritical townspeople who banished them from Poker Flat. Mother Shipping is banished from Poker Flat for being a brothel owner. Despite this low standing part of her she has several redeeming qualities that redeem her from her past mistakes. The first redeeming quality she shows is her motherly nature toward not only Piney but the Duchess as well. Such as when she “requested Piney not to “chatter” (p. 88) when Piney said reckon now you’re used to fine things at Poker Flat” (p. 88) this being her protecting the Duchess from embarrassment and protecting Pine’s innocence. She also seems to show this side of her to Croakers as when she mentions that “el ‘didn’t say ‘cards’ once” during that evening” (p. 488) almost like a mother doting on the fact that her son had interest in something else besides his interest such as videotapes today, Sauerkraut’s equivalent being card games. Another redeeming quality she has is her sacrificing herself for Pine’s sake. At midnight on the tenth day she called Croakers to her side” (p. 490) and tells him that she is dying.
She tells him not to “waken the kids” (p. 490) and take the bundle she is using as a pillow. Within the bundle is her rations for the past week and she tells Croakers to ‘me to the (p. 490) and points at Piney. After she has done this she turns to the wall and passes away in her sleep quietly. This Mother Spittoon’s top redeeming quality since she makes the greatest sacrifice for Piney and suffers for a week before dying Just for the young girl. This also plays into her quality f being motherly and trying to protect Piney by saving her rations for the girl knowing that they would not make it and run out food in due time.
The Duchess is banished from Poker Flat for being a prostitute. Despite this immoral occupation she has several redeeming qualities. One of her redeeming qualities is that she protects Pine’s innocence. She protects Pine’s innocence by not telling her of what she was back in Poker Flat. She goes along with keeping the secret of not only her own past but Mother Spittoon’s and Sauerkraut’s when Croakers says mind out the truth about us all when they find out anything,” he added significantly, “and there’s no good frightening them now” (p. 488).
The Duchess’s other redeeming quality is that she distracts Piney from their current situation so she won’t be worried. She distracts the girl by directing “Piney in the rearrangement of the interior” of the cabin “with a taste and tact that opened the blue eyes of that provincial maiden to their fullest extent. ” (p. 488). This action of the Duchess completely brings Pine’s attention away from what is going outside and the events tit Uncle Billy and focuses her on the cabin and its furniture as well as the
Croakers is banished from Poker Flat for gambling. One of Sauerkraut’s much smaller redeeming qualities is when he insists on exchanging “his own riding horse, “Five Spot,” for the sorry mule which the Duchess rode. ” (p. 485) so as to cheer not only her up but put the rest of the party into “closer sympathy’ (p. 485), or a better mood. Another redeeming quality he has is that he stays with the party and “the thought of deserting his weaker and more pitiable companions never perhaps occurred to him. (p. 486) even though the others are all drunk and he, since drinking interferes with the mind, is completely sober. Another redeeming quality he has is that he doesn’t think Billy has stolen their rides but he had instead “wandered from the camp and had accidentally stampeded the animals. ” (p. 487). Another redeeming quality he has, which takes place in his past, is that he gave Tom back his money after a game of poker, or as he says “a “little game” which got him “some forty dollars” (p. 86) from the boy, but instead of keeping it he takes Tom and tells him o’er a good little man, but you can’t gamble worth a cent. Don’t try it over agar” (p. 486) and gives him his money back. Another redeeming quality Croakers has is that he gives Tom the snowshoes he has. Though Croakers could have used the shoes himself he “showed him the pair of snowshoes, which he had fashioned from the old pack-saddle. ” (p. 490) and gives them to him telling the young man to use the shoes to save Piney to go to Poker Flat. Croakers even shows him the way far as the canon” (p. 90). Sauerkraut’s final redeeming quality is that at the end even Hough he had made it he kills himself because the others had not, except for Tom, which made him “once the strongest and yet the weakest of the outcasts of Poker Flat. ” Even though he had been strong through it all and had made it out of the cabin and got Tom to Poker Flat, he could not go on knowing that the others had died not just from the conditions but for each other and with nothing else to do, with nothing else in his hand, he ended the game that he called life.
Mother Shipping, a brothel owner, makes the greatest sacrifice for Piney and her motherly nature being her most distinguishing redeeming qualities. The Duchess, a prostitute, shows her redeeming qualities by protecting Pine’s innocence and distracting her from the “streak of bad luck” the party came upon. And John Croakers, who despite his better knowledge of the situation, continues on with the group of outcasts and their young friends by staying with them, helping them, and not accusing others by what they had done in the past all the way up until his unexpected end which is another one of his redeeming qualities.
Despite these characters lowly characteristics, these three put forth amazing qualities, actions which many could not have done, which make them much higher than the hypocritical townspeople who banished them from Poker Flat and cleanse them of their past mistakes allowing them all to pass on in peace which made it so that you could scarcely tell who had sinned.