This is a brief essay entitled Tennessee's Partner that delves into the charcters that are portrayed by Bret Harte in his short story Tennessee's Parter.

Essay by Demon_LordUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2004

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Harte makes good use of dialogue to emphasize the crude, rough, and uneducated characteristics of the men of Sandy Bar, particularly Tennessee's partner. However, the dialogue alone is not the only portrayal of their crudeness. At the beginning of the story, Harte tells of the townspeople's crude manner of giving newcomers new names--those names often being offensive to the newcomers. Harte tells us that Tennessee is known to the townspeople to be an obsessive gambler, a fact the reader knows to be true by Tennessee's excessive use of gambling terms and situations in his everyday speech, and a thief. Tennessee also runs off with his partner's wife. Later in the story, Tennessee's partner's lack of education and common sense is reflected in his inability to comprehend the judge's refusal of his bribe. However, despite these crude qualities, the townspeople of Sandy Bar, including Tennessee's partner, had several finer qualities.

Most of the finer qualities are revealed towards the end of the story; however, one of Tennessee's partner's finer qualities is revealed throughout the entire story: his complete devotion and loyalty to Tennessee. His loyalty is most evident when he welcomes Tennessee back with open arms after Tennessee had run off with his wife, and when he attempts to save Tennessee from the noose by attempting to bribe the judge. At the end of the story, Tennessee's partner is portrayed as a loyal friend whose self-reliance causes him to refuse any help in removing and burying the body of his partner. Harte also portrays the townspeople as being quite sympathetic and kind as they accompany Tennessee's partner to the burial site. Harte also tells of their attempts at kindness in the time following Tennessee's death and burial. I believe these qualities surfaced due to Harte's...