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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

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. The author comes to this theme by incorporating specific literary elements such a symbol, irony, and narration. These are important because they make up the theme by bringing the necessary elements together.
The theme in “An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge” is brought together by three necessary literary elements. The author incorporates symbolism into the story to help support the theme that nobody can escapes death and how thoughts in the mind are so substantial in the consciousness that it can take over the reality. The author uses symbolism to support the theme that nobody can escape death Bierce showed the piece of driftwood slowly being carried away. That piece of driftwood brought hope to Peyton Farquhar, because of this his mind started to wonder out of reality. He started to go into a fantasy world where he could escape and become that driftwood in the currents of the rivers. By giving Fargher this hope the author was able to allow him to escape in only his mind. Showing that there was no reality for the execution to go undone. The author lead us into such a unbelievable r...

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...ony, and narration. Without these exceptional parts the theme would not have as much meaning and depth in its perception to the reader. The symbols show to the reader that there is a hidden message to what is going to happen in the end and hints to the theme of the story but is purposely ignored. Irony brings attention to the conscious or thoughts during the story and the unlikelihood of actually dying at the end shows how strong our minds are. Narration is brought to show the theme of his expected death and a diversion from the reality of the readers thoughts. The story is saturated with literary elements that help prove the theme of “An Occurrence of Owl Creek Bridge”.

Works Cited

Bierce, Ambrose. "An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge." The Norton Introduction to Literature.
11th ed. By Kelly J. Mays. New York: W W Norton &, 2013. 551-57. Print.

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