An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge Analysis

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Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” revolves around the manipulation of time through the conflict of man versus nature. Bierce uses time in his favor as he switches between the past and the present life of the main character, Peyton Farquhar, as he lives his last moments. He uses this to show how time can be “subjective and phenomenal during times of emotional distress”. (BookRags). The manipulation of time that is unnoticeable whilst reading the story strengthens the themes that are present in this work, such as man’s denial of mortality, and the conjuring of irrational situations. The story begins with Confederate farmer, Peyton Farquhar, staring down into the water, noose around his neck, surrounded by soldiers who are responsible for his unfortunate demise. In the moments leading up to his hanging, his reality and perception of time become distorted and, "A sound which he could neither ignore nor understand, a sharp, distinct, metallic percussion like the stroke of a blacksmith 's hammer upon the anvil,” becomes his focus, instead of remaining as background noise like it had been up until that moment. Upon further reading, it is found out that this sound is merely his watch. This is one of the many times Bierce alludes to the disruption of time and the inevitability of Peyton’s death. Right before Farquhar falls, the time flashes back to an explanation of how this came to be. His punishment is being received due to interference against the Union. By
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