Study Guide

Pitch, the Missourian in The Confidence-Man

Pitch, the Missourian

Aw, Pitch—he's the tough guy with a heart of gold.

You can tell this dude's been emotionally burned, and if you give him a minute, he'll tell all about the betrayal he's experienced at the hands of farmhands who took advantage of his need for service and his previous willingness to give people the benefit of the doubt—a benefit he's no longer that willing to give…until he meets a man from the Philosophical Intelligence Office, who convinces Pitch to hire one of his serving boys.

Pitch immediately regrets his decision, but it's too late.

This fresh betrayal probably won't do much to alter Pitch's grim belief that everyone is a slave to money and that even "Abolitionism…[simply] expresses the fellow-feeling of slave for slave" (21, 87). Yikes. This line of thinking in 1857, plopped down just three years before the U.S. Civil War, would have turned heads and stirred pots.

Pitch, gruffly naïve as he may be, also delivers lines that cut.