I chose The Luck of Roaring Camp for this assignment. Choose two (2) of the following topics and write a short paper of at least two and a half (2 ½) pages, double-spaced and with one-inch margins. Use Courier or Times New Roman 12-point font.
Be sure to quote at least one or two relevant passages from the text you are discussing in support of your points; be sure to cite the page numbers of the passages you quote; be sure to discuss and analyze passages in sufficient detail once you have quoted them—by commenting on the way in which they address a central theme, tell the reader something about a character, express the author’s point of view and philosophy, or what have you; finally, be sure to give each of your short papers a title that clearly indicates its subject.
Please realize that these topics are intended as prompts and suggestions. They are not “essay questions” of the sort for which there is a single “correct” answer. You must analyze and interpret.

The Luck of Roaring Camp

The Luck of Roaring Camp

1. In “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” Bret Harte writes about the frontier for an urban audience unlikely to be familiar with actual frontier life. Is his use of such things as frontier dialect and a frontier setting, and of such things as off-color language, gambling, prostitution, and violence, “realistic”? Or does it tend toward something else—the comically absurd, for example? Can a humorist also be a realist? If so, what are the limitations of such a blended approach? What does the term “realistic” imply? How does Harte handle the lowly, sub-literary status of the material he writes about? How direct is he about them?
2. Local color writers tended to focus on regions of the U.S. that were likely to seem quaint or exotic to their readers, either because of the remoteness, the backwardness, or the perceived “exoticism” of these regions in comparison to the rest of the country. Pick one of the following topics:
• Briefly discuss the treatment of New England life as “quaint”—as backward, old-fashioned, out-of-the-way, odd, etc.—by Freeman or Cooke. Be sure to focus on concrete details about characters, their speech, their dwelling places, and the New England environment that illustrate the “quaintness” of local color writing.
• Briefly discuss the treatment of Louisiana and specifically New Orleans as “exotic” (Southern, French Creole, Catholic, multilingual, multiracial, sensual, semi-tropical, etc.) by George Washington Cable or Kate Chopin. Be sure to offer some specific examples of the “exoticism” in the story you choose to write about.
• Briefly discuss the portrayal of the cruel ironies of slavery and the culture it created in the South Joel Chandler Harris’s “Free Joe and the Rest of the World,” or in Charles Chesnutt’s