Ambrose Bierces Ise of Flashbacks and the Supernatural in his Short Stories

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Ambrose Bierces Ise of Flashbacks and the Supernatural in his Short Stories


Ambrose Bierce is known for using both flashbacks and the supernatural in his

short stories "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and "The Death of Haplin Frayser."

Bierce was born on June 24, 1842, in House Cave Creek, Meigs County, Ohio. He also

disappeared in Mexico while acting as an observer of that country's civil war in January

1, 1914. Beirce's literary reputation is based primarily on his short stories about the Civil War and the supernatural. "Mancken considered him to be the "First writer of fiction ever to treat war realistically." Bierce grew up around the military, he entered a military academy in his teen years and then later on in his life was involved in war. He was involved in the U.S. Army, served with the Ninth Indiana Infantry Regiment as a drummer boy and Buell's Army of the Ohio. Many believe Bierce wrote about wars so realistically because he experienced war first hand. Many of Bierce's works are compared to Edgar Allan Poe because their stories share an attraction to death in its more bizarre forms. Bierce also worked as a novelist, journalist, poet, essayist, and a critic. Bierce has also written many other works which include The Devil's Dictionary, "The Secret of Macarger's Gulch" and "The Middle Toe of the Right Foot."

In the short story "An Occurrance atOwl Creek Bridge" Bierce uses flashbacks of

the soldiers in war to descibe what happened to them throught out the course of war.

Many of the soldiers have scary flash backs. In the short story "An Occurrance at Owl

Creek Bridge" Bierce describes exactly what the soldiers went through in battle and gives details of deaths that happened. Although Beirce's figures are not very well

developed in any of his short stories, each story expresses a deep psychological trauma,

one that ends in madness or loss. In war the characters become part of the military.

Bierce either tells alot about the hero in his short stories or as little as he pleases. So the hero in "An Occurrance at Owl Creek Bridge" is a spy who is about to be hanged. In this short story many people take for granted the reason he is being hanged and what his beliefs are. Bierce provides the minimum of character description: Peyton Farquhar was a well-to-do planter of an old and highly respected Alabama family.

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