Analysis of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Essay

Analysis of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Essay

Length: 1033 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Although the story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek,” is ironic, there are other literary elements represented in the story. Perhaps Ambrose Bierce’s most famous works, he used imagery from his own personal experiences in the Civil War, which adds to the suspense of the short story. Imagination is a difficult word to define. The ability to have a daydream, or picture with vivid details, is what imagination could be. An imagination is key for some people, who escape real life into a fantasy world. Bierce's “An Occurrence at Owl Creek” uses point of view, structure, and symbolism to show the power or capability of imagination.
Point of view, was used very effectively in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek.” Although point of view can be effective in any story, the action changes points of view in the story, making for a more shocking end of the story. Since most stories are not told from the authors point of view, but rather from a characters or narrators point of view, this story is told using third-person limited omniscient point of view. For example, the story begins with the reader discovering that a person is about to be hanged. At this present time, the audience does not know why someone is going to be hanged. Bierce gives some indication as to why Peyton is to be hung, such as, “his executioners – two private soldiers of the Federal army, directed by a sergeant…” (Bierce 83). He gave the readers some insight, as to the reason for the hanging. However he still kept the reader in the dark about many things. Bierce holds information from the audience until, the timing is right in the story. For example, Bierce withholds the information about the circumstances behind the hanging until after the hanging occurs. Bierce used this to keep the au...


... middle of paper ...


... Although imagination may have its limits, in everyday life it is really useful. Someone can escape real life, into a fantasy world. However an imagination can be distracting, for some people. In the story, Peyton's imagination emerged in a way in which is indescribable in real life.


Works Cited

Bierce, Ambrose. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. 10Th ed. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Robert Zweig. New York: Longman 2012. 83 – 88. Print.
Holladay, Hal. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition (2004): 1-3. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.

Stoicheff, Peter. “ 'Something Uncanny': The Dream Structure In Ambrose Bierce's 'An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge'.” Studies In Short Fiction 30.3 (1993): 349. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Literary Analysis : ' Chickamauga ' And ' An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge '

- Literary Analysis In both “Chickamauga” and “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” Ambrose Pierce paints vivid images of both fantasy and reality. It seems that Bierce’s goal is to ultimately display reality as clearly and harshly as possible, and this is done by contrasting reality with fantasy. In both stories, Bierce creates a somewhat nightmarish world, and although sprinkled with scenes of beauty, both end in tragedy. In the stories Bierce attempts to dash fantasies of a Romantic world view, and display the cold and unfair reality of the world....   [tags: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce]

Strong Essays
932 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Literary Analysis Of Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge By Ambrose Bierce

- Literary Analysis of “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce The story of Owl Creek Bridge is set during the Civil War. The Owl Creek Bridge is located on a railroad in northern Alabama. It is very dark, horrid with soldiers hung over a river, and shot dead. Peyton Farquhar is a confederate soldier in the army. Peyton shows symbols, flashbacks, and foreshadowing as he is getting ready to die by execution. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge has many examples of themes, motifs and symbols....   [tags: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce]

Strong Essays
733 words (2.1 pages)

Analysis of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Essay

- ... The structure of the story, helps to show the significance of the power of imagination in life. Bierce used structure to help influence this idea, to help reader to understand the main character’s problem in the context of the story. At the beginning of the story, the main character Peyton Farquhar, is shown on a bridge. Peyton, according to the text, “stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below” (83). From the opening sentence, Bierce has definitely grabbed the readers’ attention....   [tags: civil war, power, imagination]

Strong Essays
1033 words (3 pages)

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]

Strong Essays
611 words (1.7 pages)

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]

Strong Essays
941 words (2.7 pages)

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge: Literary Realism Essay examples

- There has been much examination of the more popular terms used in American literature, such as romanticism and classicism, but little examination done on literary realism. Despite realism being mostly ignored in the late nineteenth century, it has now become commonplace in American literature. Although An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce does offer some examples of literary realism in its verisimilitude of detail and idealism, there were also many instances of fantastical imagery and an unrealistic sense of time, which is contradictory to literary realism....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Strong Essays
1953 words (5.6 pages)

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Essay

- Reading and understanding literature is not as easy as it sounds. Being able to dissect each piece of information and connect it to the overall theme of the story takes lots of rereading and critical thinking. Reading the story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” takes lots of critical thinking and understanding the literature in a different point of view than the average reader would. The theme of this particular story quickly came to mind after initially concluding the reading, the author is trying to convey that nobody can escape death and how thoughts in the mind are so substantial in the consciousness that it can take over the reality....   [tags: literary analysis, symbolism]

Strong Essays
1051 words (3 pages)

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]

Strong Essays
1222 words (3.5 pages)

Analysis of Two Short Stories Happy Endings and An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

- Literary elements on numerous occasions play a massive role in the meaning of a story. Two distinct cases being in the short stories “Happy Endings” and “An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge.” In these particular cases the literary element that depicts meaning is internal conflict. In “Happy Endings” the conflict lies within the character Mary who is in love with John, but he is not in love with her. A similar circumstance is in the story “An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge”, where the main character Farquhar wrestles with the idea of evading him imminent death....   [tags: charcter, conflict, literary elements]

Strong Essays
1126 words (3.2 pages)

The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Essay

- The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Ambrose Bierce wrote "The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" during the turn of the nineteenth to twentieth century. During this time period the two writing styles of romanticism, and realism were coming together. This melding of styles was a result of the romantic period of writing and art coming to an end, just at realism was beginning to gain popularity. "The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is a perfect example of this transition of styles as it combines elements of both romanticism and realism to create a story that can be far-fetched while still believable at times....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Summary]

Free Essays
318 words (0.9 pages)