An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Peyton Farquhar's ideal creation When an individual is faced with circumstances that threaten the individual's life, the individual can be forced to perform actions that he or she normally would not be capable of performing. Peyton Farquhar, the character in Ambrose Bierce's short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," seems to gain "super-human" characteristics because of a threat to his life. However, the strength of these very keen senses seems to be exaggerated and inconsistent with reality. This is because Farquhar is not actually experiencing these events, but only thinking about them. Farquhar's mind has created a scenario that is very pleasing to him and his imagination has developed the ideal setting for this scenario. His imagination creates an escape that seems very plausible, but if the details are examined closely it can be determined that this escape could not take place in reality. The escape is the wish of a man who is facing the last moments of his life.

Farquhar does certain things and describes object with such detail that it could not be explained rationally. Peyton farquhar's desire to live is so great that he creates this alternate scenario. This thought may have only been a few milliseconds long but it seems to last for at least one full day. It is the last thought of a desperate man, who only wants to return home to his family.

There are several clues given by Ambrose Bierce about the third section of the story as only being a part of Peyton Farquhar's imagination. Peyton Farquhar's imagination starts creating a false reality by leading him to the conclusion that when he was dropped off the bridge, the rope had broken and he had fallen in the river (Bierce p.517). An example of Farquhar's imagination is creating false...