Preview
Preview

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Analytical Paper

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 1863 words (5.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Aqua      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true” (Kierkegaard)- Misleading oneself by accepting things as true or valid when they are not is a common phenomenon of nearly every human being, especially when faced with life changing of threatening situations. Self-deception can therefore be considered an option to escape reality in order to prevent oneself from dealing with the weight of a situation. Basically, those strong influencing psychological forces keep us from acknowledging a threatening situation or truth. However, oftentimes people do not realize that they are deceiving themselves, for it is mostly the action of the subconscious mind to protect especially the psychological well- being. This psychological state is depicted and in Ambrose Bierce’s short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. He shows that people try to escape reality and seek refuge in self-deception when confronted with life-threatening situations, through characterization, alternate point of view, and the fluidity of time.
According to Baybrook, “Peyton Farquhar believes -- as do the readers -- that he has escaped execution and, under heavy gunfire, has made his way back home” (Baybrook). One of Bierce’s main means to achieve this goal of forcing the reader to buy into his delusion is ‘time’. Because ‘time’ is utilized to calibrate human experiences, it becomes obscure, altered and split in times of extreme emotional disturbance. The time that is required for hanging Farquar seems to be indefinite, however, Bierce goes the extra mile and indicates that there is a certain ‘treshold of death’ that lingers beyond recognition. When it is exceeded, it results in a distorted and blurred pe...


... middle of paper ...


...OCCURRENCE AT OWLCREEK BRIDGE" ." ABP Journal. 1.1 (2005): n. page. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. Bierce, Ambrose “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. The Norton Introduction to Literature 10th ed. New York. Wwnorton.com, 2011. 299-306. Print. Habbi, Don. “Experience of a Lifetime: Philosophical Reflections on Narrative Device of Ambrose Bierce.” Studies in the Humanities 29.2 (2002): 83-108. GALE. Web. 22 Mar. 2014 Stoicheff, Peter. "'Something Uncanny: The Dream Structure in Ambrose Bierce's 'An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge',." Studies in Short Fiction. (1993): 355. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. "“There Are Two Ways to Be Fooled. One Is to Believe What Isn't True; the Other Is to Refuse to Believe What Is True.”." Quote by Søren Kierkegaard: "There Are Two Ways to Be Fooled. ..." (1/11). N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.




Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Essay - An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce 'An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge' by Ambrose Bierce is a 19th Century mystery story that is set at the time of the American Civil War (1861-1865) when the Slave owning Confederate States in the South engaged in conflict with the Federal Government of the USA. The story focuses on a character called Peyton Farquhar, whom is about to be summarily hung for trespassing on the Owl Creek Bridge; his fate is to be hung from that same bridge. The story ends with a curious twist in the plot....   [tags: English Literature Owl Creek Bierce Essays] 1969 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Ambrose Bierce's An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Essay example - Ambrose Bierce's “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” by Ambrose Bierce, is the story of the hanging of a Civil War era Southern gentleman by the name of Peyton Farquhar. The story begins with an unidentified man being prepared to be hanged by a company of Union soldiers on a railroad bridge that runs over a river. He is then identified as Peyton Farquhar, a man who attempted to destroy the very bridge they are standing on based on information he was given by a Federal scout posing as a Confederate soldier....   [tags: Bierce Occurence Owl Creek Bridge Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
697 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce - In “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, Bierce starts her short story on the edge with Peyton Farquhar, a 35 year old planter from the south, standing on Owl Creek Bridge with his hands tied behind his back and a noose around his neck. There are soldiers from the north surrounding him. Two soldiers, one on each side of him, take away the plank in which he is standing on. Falling to the water, Farquhar focuses his last thoughts on his family, while also having hopes of freeing his hands and diving into the water below....   [tags: literary analysis, occurence at owl creek bridge]
:: 1 Works Cited
941 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Perceptions in An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and The Story of an Hour - Perceptions in An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and The Story of an Hour In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and "The Story of an Hour," the authors use similar techniques to create different tones, which in turn illicit very distinct reactions from the reader. Both use a third person narrator with a limited omniscient point of view to tell of a brief, yet significant period of time. In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," Bierce uses this method to create an analytical tone to tell the story of Farquhar's experience just before death....   [tags: Papers] 963 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Ambrose Bierce's Chickamauga Essay example - Ambrose Bierce's Chickamauga Ambrose Bierce’s short story, "Chickamauga," scrutinizes American values, specifically, America’s identifying with the natural world. Bierce is critical of the American association with divine destiny, which has manifested itself throughout history in the form of John Winthrop’s “City upon a hill” speech, the notion of the “white man’s burden,” and Manifest Destiny. American history, in the scope of the short story, is one of perceived “rightly” subjugation of others....   [tags: Ambrose Bierce Chickamauga Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1190 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Analysis of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Essay - Numerous American authors have written stories about the Confederate Civil War. Ambrose Bierce has been one of the most popular authors whose writings have withheld the ticking test-of-time. His own distinction within the Union Confederate Army provides a parallel within his own writings. In the justly famous short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” (Bierce 551), Ambrose Bierce, creates a fascinating tale of reality that infuses a bridge into ostensible spirituality through his effective use of characters, settings, and symbolisms....   [tags: characters, settings, symbolisms]
:: 1 Works Cited
611 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce - “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” leads readers to query Ambrose Bierce about the numerous point of view shifts his story takes. Ambrose Bierce’s descriptive writing style grasps the reader’s attention, unknowingly manipulating the reader throughout the entire story. This statement holds to be true as the story line develops. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” has a variety of ups and downs throughout the story, changing the direction and perspective through its point of view of omniscient and limited omniscient....   [tags: Critical Analysis and Summary]
:: 1 Works Cited
1222 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Ambrose Bierces’ An Occurence At Owl Creek Bridge Essay - Ambrose Bierces’ Story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”      Ambrose Bierces’ story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” tells the story of a confederate secessionist, who is being hanged by Union troops. At the time of the hanging, the soldiers drop him from the bridge. Luckily, just as he falls the rope snaps and the man dives into the “sluggish stream”. He miraculously takes off his ropes and swims away. When he reaches the bank of the creek, he runs for what seems like forever. He finally reaches home, where his family is waiting so anxiously for him....   [tags: Occurence Owl Creek Bridge Bierces Essays] 1122 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Writitng of Ambrose Bierce Essay - The writing style of Ambrose Bierce can simply be described as bitter. Almost all of his stories had some sort of irony or plot twist that made his stories interesting. Events in his life have shaped his view on the world. This viewpoint extends into his writing when he looks at the bitter side of the world in most of his stories and also the aspect of death. In the stories An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and A Watcher by the Dead, he uses irony and examines death. Along with his patented irony, Bierce uses death in many of his popular stories, possibly as a wish for himself....   [tags: Papers Writing Style Amrbose Bierce Bitter Cynic] 1588 words
(4.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Essay - An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", we see the author, Ambrose Bierce, cleverly develop his short story through a masterful use of style, plot and theme. We must appreciate the use of these aspects, especially when we consider the amazing twist the story takes, and how perfectly this piece has been set up. First, we should look at the amazingly clear and crisp style Bierce uses to communicate his story so powerfully to the reader. Through his use of all five senses in the story, there is no doubting its reality....   [tags: Papers] 448 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]