Theme Of An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” written by Ambrose Bierce, is about a man named Peyton Farquhar, who was being hung at the Owl Creek Bridge. This story takes place in the American Civil War era in Alabama where the Union army declared, “they would hang any civilian caught interfering with the railroad, its bridges, tunnels or trains.” Bierce uses many different themes in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” but his standout, and most important, themes are man vs. himself, the battle, triumph over adversity, love conquers all, and death.
Bierce starts his story of a man who was about to be hung from Owl Creek Bridge. Farquhar was a well-to-do planter, from an old and highly respected Alabama family. Being a slave owner as well as a politician, he was naturally an original secessionist and very devoted to the southern cause. No adventure too perilous for him to undertake if consistent with the charter of a civilian who had the heart of a soldier (Bierce 2). Farquhar finds himself with the hemp rope tied around his neck standing on the Owl Creek Bridge with the Federal army. Farquhar’s face had not been covered nor his eyes
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He sprung to his feet and rushed up the bank and into the forest. He traveled all day laying his course to the rising sun (Bierce 6). When nightfall had come, Farquhar was fatigued, footsore and famished. Then his thoughts turned to “home” when he saw his homestead. The word “gates” could be symbolic of a transition, whether real or imagined. The thought of his wife and children urged him on. His neck was in pain and he knew he would find it black where the rope had been tied. He believes to have fallen asleep or recovering from delirium when he sees another scene, that of the gates to his home (Bierce 6). “Black” is also a lack of anything which is just the opposite of the vivid and bright images of his psyche. This is very symbolic of his
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