Essay about an occurrence at owl creek bridge

Both of the stories have a death that occurs abruptly.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

This short story is divided into three distinct sections, and follows the inevitable execution of a man named Payton Farquhar. The story begins with Farquhar, a citizen Confederacy sympathizer, bound and awaiting his execution by hanging on a railroad bridge overlooking the treacherous waters of Owl Creek. Just before the Union Army sergeant executes the final obligations….

An occurrence at owl creek bridge time essay

Bierce had based the story of a man who is being hanged in Tennessee as a reference to his suspenseful piece from his experience as a soldier during the civil war. The short story was written into three parts, where each passage has different motives. The order the story was written in was remarkable and the suspense can get into oneself for various reasons.

He had used vivid…. This story has been debated for the past years over the theme of dream vs. He is being taken to his own execution.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Theme of Time

He notices the guards and the forest that the railroad track leads to. The rope is tied around…. Due to the complex story line and prolonged suspense, Ambrose Bierce creates a fantastic story for any reader.

The story begins by painting the setting. The man is standing on a railroad bridge, a noose around his neck and wrists bound by cord. For instance the protagonists, Sonny and Farquhar, both dealt with family affairs and getting punished due to their past actions. The reader begins to experience the pain and terror that must come from facing death in such a manner.


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Although the events of his escape are surreal and improbable, because time-flow is normally irreversible, the reader is continuously pushed forward into believing Peyton has actually survived his escape. Thus, allowing time to continue uninterrupted, yet more subjective.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Essay

The reader is finally given small insight into the thoughts and emotions of Peyton Farquhar. The internal thoughts and fears of a man just moments from his death can be unnerving and terrifying. However, the reader nearly cheers for Peyton Farquhar to escape unharmed.

The narrator continues the objective description of even such a traumatic scene. Bierce p 75 With each passing moment, with each detailed description of the pain Peyton Farquhar must endure to achieve his escape, time seems to slow down. As in any adrenaline filled moment, time becomes slightly distorted, however Bierce again uses descriptions to what can only be a method of elongating a single moment.

"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce Essay - SummaryStory

Initially the reader was left with many assumptions about the character of Peyton Farquhar. The reader can than begin to sympathize with the character.

He has made this horrifying odyssey to get back home, but when he gets there, it is has been burned to the ground and his bullet-ridden mother joins the list of casualties. A tale of heroism and vengeance as a scout risks his own life in an effort to divulge the location of the enemy to his unit of soldiers. Just when it seems he may succeed and survive, he is shot down. From the cover in which they had themselves been hiding, his fellow soldiers rush toward the enemy overcome with intense emotions at what they just witnessed.

The story ends on the bitterly ironic twist that exactly what the scout was trying to avoid happening is exactly what does happen: the soldiers are mowed down in a bloodbath. Union officer Capt. Coulter is from the South and given orders by a particularly malevolent general to shell a house.

Coulter is aware he cannot refuse the order, but he is also aware that his wife and child are inside the house which just so happens to be his home. Another moral quandary that becomes a commentary on the moral morass of any civil war. An orderly in the Union Army named Jerome has been sent on a scouting mission to look for any surprises that may be lying in wait.

When he finds Confederate soldiers retreating from a plantation, he draw his aim on his target. Just then, a cannon is launched toward the spot where Jerome is keeping cover. Upon regaining consciousness after the blast, Jerome finds himself under a ton of debris and unable to move.

An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge Essay

Eventually, he decides to just face the inevitable and push against the trigger. It turns out the gun had already gone off when the building collapsed on top of him. The fear alone dooms Jerome and his body is not even collected by his unit since the cannon explosion has turned his blue uniform Confederate gray.