Analysis Of An Occurrence At Owl Bridge

Is it possible for there to be more than one reality, or more than one truth, yet have both still be correct? In An Occurrence at Owl Bridge, it seems this may be the case. Written by Ambrose Bierce, this short story tells the tale of Peyton Farquhar, a Confederate, who is tricked by the Unionists into attempting to burn their bridge. When he fails, the Unionists are given an excuse to hang him. The catch comes when the noose breaks, and Farquhar stumbles home. Just as he is about to embrace his wife, however, he is drawn back to reality by the snap of his neck: “Peyton Fahrquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge”. However, does this have to be the only way of looking at things? If analyzed from a pluralistic philosophical outlook, there are many more interpretations than simply ‘A man imagined things before his…show more content…
In epistemological pluralism, there can be multiple truths, or ways of approaching truths. So just as Farquhar sees his actions in attempting to sabotage the Federalist efforts as correct, the Federalists very evidently do not share this view. In a broader sense, the Civil War itself boils down to two different groups of people with two different truths. This idea can be applied to nearly anything—I remember the phenomenon of the blue and black dress, which I ardently believed to be white and gold, but was the subject of much debate in the media. That, too, came down to two different methods our brains had for approaching the truth: something about artificial versus natural light, and the photoreceptors on our retinas. In essence, there is no one set of truths that is the ultimate truth, and so Farquhar’s morality is likewise up to individual
Get Access