Reflective Composition

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Reflective Composition In the short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce makes the point about life that in the end everyone will die, and that we can never really tell what's real from what is imaginary. In the story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, a man named Peyton Farquhar is standing on bridge over a creek with a rope around his neck. Peyton is about to be hanged while the small crowd watches. A while before Peyton meets his demise, he fantasizes of escape. Peyton states, "I might throw off the noose and spring into the stream. By diving I could evade the bullets and, swimming vigorously, reach the bank, take to the woods, and get away home. My home, thank God, is as yet outside their lines; my wife and little ones are still beyond the invader's farthest advance." By stating this Peyton is trying to avoid agreeing with the inevitable; everyone has to die.

By getting lost in his fantasy, Peyton proves that in moments of extraneous stress and mental anguish it is not possible to differentiate between real life and the imagination.

Throughout history, people have tried to find a way to avoid the unavoidable; death. Through blessings, spells, and fountains of youth, people tried to avoid dyeing. Peyton Farquhar's last thoughts were focused on avoiding death. His will to live drove him into a fantasy. Peyton Farquhars' fantasy begins when he falls downward from the bridge. His whole fantasy takes place while he's falling and hanging from the bridge. His fantasy seemed so real, that he was unable to differentiate it from real life. The human mind's will to live is so strong that it will do anything to avoid being destroyed.

Peyton was unable to determine reality from his imagination. He...