An Analysis Of 'An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge'

1080 Words5 Pages
“An Allusion at Owl Creek Bridge” “As Peyton Farquhar fell straight downward through the bridge he lost consciousness and was as one already dead.” (Bierce 8 ) “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is a short story written by Ambrose Bierce. Bierce was regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States and was an American editorialist, journalist, short-story writer and satirist. He also enlisted in 1861, eventually achieving the rank of lieutenant and fighting in several noted battles and campaigns. In “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, a Southern plantation owner named Peyton Farquhar is hanged during the American Civil War. At the moment of his death, he dreams that the rope breaks, allowing him to escape down the…show more content…
Ambrose Bierce was a young man during the Civil War. He fought hard in the Union army and was injured in battle. As a result of the war, his views on life were drastically altered by his experience As stated by the narrator, “…two private soldiers of the Federal army, directed by a sergeant who in civil life may have been a deputy sheriff ” (Bierce 3). This quote shows you how the historical context can affect the story, Knowing it’s during the civil war, and the author has first hand experience, makes the story more believable and accurate to read. According to Infohio, “The stories he wrote were not directly about his son but about his experiences with death during the Civil War.” What may seem nonsensical, might actually be interpreted in a completely different manner by considering the era it is from. Without an understanding of the era, a full understanding of the piece will be impossible. According to InfOhio, “The physical setting, including the arrangements for the hanging and the actual location of the soldiers on and off the bridge, further enhances our belief in Farquhar's escape. Thus, the Civil War setting and the physical setting strengthen our sympathy for Farquhar and our belief in his escape.” Without historical context, we are only seeing a piece of the scene and not fully understanding the influence of the time and place in which a situation…show more content…
First, The time period being during the civil war helps that setting because a war is taking place. The historical context can be believable and accurate since the author has experienced war first hand. Also, the emotional state of the main character, is important, because there wouldn’t be much of a story without that allusion and surprise ending. The text is important because reality and illusion operate side by side in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” and until the end of the story, the reader isn’t aware of any division between them. Farquhar’s illusion is, for us as readers, reality. Farquhar creates his fantasy world out of desperation: he is about to die, and imagining his escape is a way of regaining control over the facts of his current state. Bierce has very carefully prepared the reader to trust him and consequently to ignore all the indications in the final section that Farquhar’s escape is imaginary. But, his belief that he is escaping can have but one outcome: the reality of his
Open Document