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Outcasts Of Poker Flat And Banishment

996 words - 4 pages

When Banishment is Morally Defensible The banishment acts in "The Soft-hearted Sioux" and in "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" are very complex and contain different reasoning's on why the certain characters were exiled from their homes. In one story the character is banished because of his difference in religious beliefs, and in the other a group of citizens are exiled because of the actions of a town against the current criminal activities inside of it. The stories both focus on the characters that are exiled and how all of the characters come to a tragic end.In "The Soft-hearted Sioux" a young man is faced with the dilemma of believing in the white religion instead of his traditional Indian ...view middle of the document...

Both of these groups are forced into a cabin and remain in this dwelling with dwindling food supplies, and harsh winter weather outside. In the end Mr. Oakhurst and his friends are finally met to a tragic end, because of their banishment into the harsh environment.In " The Soft-hearted Sioux" the banishment was more necessary and morally justified than in "The Outcasts of Poker Flat". This is because the young man was posing a serious threat to the life and well being of his Indian tribe. The medicine man knew that the young man was trying to convince others that his religion was the only true one and knew that this was damaging not just to the individual, but to the traditions and culture of the tribe altogether. The medicine man was not exiling the young man to kill him, but was banishing him for the safety of the Indian values and beliefs that the boy was threatening to diminish.The outcasts from Poker Flat however, were mostly banished for their life style, not because of anything specifically criminal that they had done. A gambler, two prostitutes, and a regular drunk of the town are thrown out for the retaliation of a major robber from the town's welfare. The other two outcasts who appear in the story that are exiled from another town left in order to be together even though the girls father did not approve. The way a group of people chooses to live is a poor and unsubstantial reason to force that group of people out into the harsh wilderness. None of the outcasts from Poker Flat were ever proved or mentioned to be thieves themselves, yet they suffer the punishment as if they had...

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