“The Outcasts of Poker Flat” p. 421
Here are some sample Level Two and Level Three Questions based on this short story.
Level Two Questions:
1. p. 425 Why doesn’t John Oakhurst tell the others the truth about what Uncle Billy had done?
2. p. 428 As they lay dying, the Duchess asks Piney if she can pray. When Piney replies, “no,” why does the Duchess feel relieved?
3. What about the story makes it an example of Regionalism? An example of Naturalism?
4. Which character did you like the most? Why?
5. Which character(s) in the story would you call heroic? why?
6. Why is Uncle Billy so different from the other three outcasts?
7. Did Oakhurst do the right thing making Tom wait so long to go for help?
Level Three Questions:
1. Does society still have “outcasts”? Is so, name some.
2. Do you believe in luck? How about Fate?
3. Would you elope if your parents didn’t approve of who you were marrying? How would you then handle letting your family know what you had done?
4. What does this story imply about what happens to groups of strangers when disaster strikes?
5. What does it take to survive a disaster?
6. Televison “reality” shows today offer many different challenges to contestants. How is the show “Survivor” both like and unlike the survival story in “The Outcasts of Poker Flat”?
7. Several of the characters in this story are stereotypes. Many situation comedies use stereotypical characters to add humor to their shows. Who are some of your favorite stereotypical characters in comedy?
(Examples: the dumb jock, the air-head cheerleader, the nerd, the rebel, momma’s boy, slacker, the eccentric, the naïve, and the bumbling fool)