Analysis of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce.

Essay by dodger1122College, UndergraduateA+, March 2006

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

At first when I began to read this story I really thought I would not be very interested in it, for it just appeared to be a short story about the hanging of one man. But after reading the story I changed my opinion. I really felt this story was very different to any other story that I have read and at the end most readers are surprised how it comes to a close. The author Ambrose Bierce uses a variety of different writing techniques including: foreshadowing and symbols in order to give the story a much deeper meaning then may exist on the surface. The reader is guided into thinking that the last few seconds of Peyton Farquhar's life appears to last for an indefinite period of time, but at the end his life comes to a sudden halt. After reading An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge I feel that I have been enlightened in how death can really make clear to us how truly sacred life is; Our entire lives flash before us in seconds but these seconds can't give justice to life itself.

Ambrose Bierce alters the chronological order of the story in order to give the reader the impression that Peyton Farquhar has escaped his hanging at Owl Creek and can then return home and cherish his wife and children. He breaks the story up into three main pieces of which are detailed in the text. At the beginning we are introduced into the story with Peyton Farquhar at Owl Creek Bridge, in what seems just before his hanging, " the man's hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck". We are given details about the soldiers of the Federal army and eventually what leads up...