Intro to Fiction
Short Story Analysis
Death, what a powerful and tremendous word. Just the word, "death," brings a feeling or thought that you just can't describe. Different people have different views and opinions on death, as Ambrose Bierce portrayed in the short story, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." In this story, Bierce went through a man's last thoughts as he was being put to death. Throughout the story many key symbols and certain dialogue help foretell a man's tragic destination before his dreadful ending.
Just the title, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," has many meanings and can relate to the story in different ways. Owl may represent the man's unreal eyesight in his last moments. It described through the story that he saw in great detail, just as an owl may do. It also could relate to the man on the bridge with a rifle.
As it states in the story, "He observed that it
was a gray eye and he remembered having read that gray eyes were keenest, and that all famous marksmen had them" (Bierce 492). Maybe this man was
the owl of the story representing the keen eyes of the owl. Creek, meaning "a difficult or perplexing situation," fits the man in the story very well (Webster). Creek could also mean, "a narrow or winding passage" (Webster). This relates to the man, because his passage to heaven is narrow and difficult to get through, and he takes many winding journeys through his mind before he finally reaches that final destination. "A depression or obstacle" is the meaning for bridge (Webster). The bridge could be the obstacle the man had to finally concur before he was accepted to heaven.
There were several symbols that represented where he was headed...