Analysis of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

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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.
Peyton Farquhar is a wealthy citizen of a highly acclaimed Alabama family (553) of distinctive stature. He exhibits a self-provoked need to be involved as no other ordinary citizen may dare to tread; however, he is not a Confederate soldier. He is a dedicated loving husband, who has visions of his beautiful wife, “the Lady” (553) who is the center of his existence, and she resides with him on a substantial tree-lined gated plantation in northern Alabama. He is a slave owner and because he is a planter, he is devoted to the south and the wars cause. He is a busybody, a politician, and wants to participate toward the efforts of the Confederate Civil War in order to establish his own worth; he will protect his interests and for his own distinct glory. Consequently he chooses to become involved with espionage and defiant interference in an effort to feel like an important contributor in some manner. He did not take into account the many lives he could endanger by his own selfish actions, nonetheless, the risk of his life being lost.
The story is set in the Confederate Civil War era, in the southern United States, and in northern Alabama, the context of the bridge is critical to what Bierce c...

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...stiny, is sentenced to be hung, and he has an extraordinary response through the manifestation of thoughts. He looks around for a way to escape, but his only escape way is through his mind. Bierce exploits the reality of Farquhar’s mental quest for freedom using twist and turns that revolve around the inevitable hanging. Moreover, through defiance, regret, and symbolism, Bierce’s writing is exquisitely tied up with unique parallel representation, and as a result, he conveys a strange connection through nature and a spiritual perpetuity. Subsequently, the short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Bridge Creek Bridge” (Bierce 551) leaves a mysterious and amazing suspended impression.

Works Cited

Ambrose, Bierce. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" The Norton Introduction to Literature. Shorter Eleventh ed. Ed. Kelly J. Mays. New York: Norton, 2013, pp. 551 - 557. Print.
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