Symbolism in Ambrose Bierce's Owl Creek Bridge

739 Words2 Pages

Literary Analysis of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is written by author Ambrose Bierce. It is a short story that takes place during the Civil War time period. In the story, Confederate supporter, Peyton Farquhar, is caught tampering with a bridge that is being used by Union soldiers. As punishment, the Northern soldiers sentenced him to be hanged from the bridge until death. Leading to Farquhar’s death, Ambrose Bierce uses multiple types of literary techniques to create an immense amount of suspense for the reader throughout the story. A key literary technique that Bierce uses is symbolism. In the beginning of the story, a Union soldier is removing all of Peyton Farquhar’s personal belongings, and one being a watch. By the watch being removed from his possession, it symbolizes the soldiers are taking the time Peyton’s life has remaining. As well as the watch, Ambrose uses a Union soldier and Peyton Farquhar having gray eyes as an …show more content…

One of the very first uses of foreshadowing is Peyton Farquhar’s aching pain in his neck once he believes that he has freed himself from the noose, and he also notices a dark ring form on his flesh. This let the reader catch a glimpse of what the end result of the story is going to be, which is Peyton being hanged to his death. Another use of foreshadowing is when Peyton gains the ability to see everything abnormally close up. His capability to do this tells the reader that there is obviously something wrong with him and what is happening in the story. A final use of foreshadowing is when Peyton believes that he has finally reached the gate of his home. The house gate represents the gate to Heaven, telling the reader that he will soon be opening the gate to his new home after death. Through these many hints of the future, Bierce is able to leave the reader on edge until the story finally reaches its

Open Document