An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge was a story written by Ambrose Bierce. He wrote it to be a suspenseful and confusing short story. The suspense brought on by Bierce employed to clench one's attention throughout this short story by using numerous literary techniques. With his use of imagery Bierce displayed that, in his mind, Farquhar, while being hanged, still had all of his thoughts and he believed that he was escaping the army, bringing suspense to the story. Farquhar thought that the rope had snapped and that he had fallen into the water, he imagined himself escaping the military by swimming away.
In the short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, written by Ambrose Bierce, he tells the story of white southerner during the American Civil War who has committed a crime against the Union and is punished to death by hanging. Throughout the short story Bierce takes us the readers on a journey through northern Alabama filled with suspense and foreshadowing. Through the entire short story Bierce uses many different types of foreshadowing to anticipate the fate of the main character. Bierce foreshadows the ending of the story in three ways, 1.) Peyton Farquhar’s heightened senses, 2.) at the commencement of part III he expresses that Peyton Farquhar is already dead, and 3.) Bierce uses inmediares to convey foreshadowing to us the readers.
This is the climax of where Bierce displays his beliefs of hatred towards war and fighting, since the “soldier-at-heart” is hung. He is not able to escape, like fairytales, because wars are real and people die, it is not a great adventure that people like to believe. Bierce resents war and hints to this undertone throughout An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, masking it with figurative language. Bierce subtly hints throughout the story about the folly of war and its destructions rather than its ability to solve disputes. Bierce believes that war is glorified by those who never fought, but it is truly deadly and destructive to the
While reading the 5 fiction short stories there became a common pattern between 3 stories and the characters in them. These stories are “The Rocking Horse Winner” by D.H. Lawrence, “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen, and “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. Every character has the mindset to possibly fulfill their goals to better and/or change their lives.
Then Farquhar asked the following question: “Suppose a man—a civilian and student of hanging—should elude the picket post and perhaps get the better of the sentinel. What could he accomplish?” This is a direct foreshadow to the criminal act Farquhar plained to accomplish. Right here is proof of his not so subtle questioning so he can see exactly what would happen and could be accomplished if he went up to Owl Creek Bridge to destroy government property out of pure loyalty and dedication to the South. Right here, is where we see his true manifest intentions and see behind his not-so-friendly disguise.
In “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” the central character Peyton Farquhar functions as a symbol of romanticism. He is an idealistic man with a decidedly romantic view of war: “no service was too humble for him…no adventure too perilous” (Bierce 320). In addition, Farquhar’s reemergence from underwater is a classic romantic rebirth image (Owens 85). Yet while Farquhar himself represents romanticism, Bierce’s characterization of him is far from rose-colored. Bierce makes uses of burlesques to transform Farquhar from a romantic symbol to a satiric object.
Shadows of Death In the story, Peyton Farquhar dies, but as a reader, we do not learn this fact until the very end. Ambrose Bierce hides this fact until the end by providing an adventure through the mind of a dying Peyton Farquhar. Along the incredible journey of “escape”, Bierce alludes to the inevitable end to which the reader is captured by the idea that Peyton Farquhar could actually get away. The short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” has several literary techniques that capture the reader’s attention.
Farquhar was able to deviate away from the reality of his death through his vivid imagination. He escaped all the pain that he otherwise would have felt. Upon falling down the bridge, his defense mechanism kicked in and led him to imagine an escape he desired. He didn’t feel any pain for he quickly “lost consciousness and was as one already dead.” He was not in fear during his last moments because he believed that “despite his suffering … he now (stood) at the gate of his own home.”
No one returns from war the same person who went. War opens an unbridgeable gap between soldiers and civilians. There’s no truth in war—just each soldier’s experience. “You can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil” (from “How to Tell a True War Story,” in O’Brien’s story collection “The Things They Carried”). Irony in modern American war literature takes many forms, and all risk the overfamiliarity that transforms style into cliché.
Within Liam O’Flaherty’s short story, “The Sniper”, there are two literary devices that greatly impact the meaning of the story. These two literary devices are irony and mood, and together they show the reader how difficult war can be and how it can pull friends and families apart. While reading the text, the reader can feel how tired, lethargic, yet exciting war can be. On page 1, paragraph 3, the sniper was “eating a sandwich hungrily” because he “had eaten nothing since morning”. In this paragraph, readers can feel how the thrill of war can overcome a person, taking over their actions, emotions, and feelings.
"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" begins with the capture of the protagonist Peyton Farquhar, a plantation and slave owner. Bierce paints a vivid picture of the surroundings around Farquhar as he awaits to be hanged. It then flashes back to the days leading up to the hanging. Where Farquhar was deceived by a federal spy claiming to be a confederate soldier. In the end, we see Farquhar escape from reality as he is serving his sentence to finally his demise. Throughout the story we can tell by the way Ambrose Bierce uses military terminology that he had served in the military during the Civil War (Grenander) "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" carries the reader back to the American Civil War to experience the final days of Peyton Farquhar, and to reflect on the events and ultimate deception that brought him to his fate
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.
How do you cope with the reality of day to day life? I would like to think I handle the reality of day to day life moderately well like everyone else. However, I began to question myself once again as I read Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” This story, with its unexpected ending, had me rereading it several times to pull out key details that led me down the wrong path the first time. As you can tell from the title, something big happened at the Owl Creek Bridge, but you have to wait until the end of the story to find out the truth, or else you could be lost in someone’s daydream. The story had me intrigued by the different directions it could take you, but it all made sense in the end, and I discovered you sometimes have to dig a little deeper to find the whole truth about someone.
Literature can be funny, happy, lovely, and dynamic in all its forms, but literature that strikes a chord and evokes deep gut-wrenching feelings is often that of realistic fiction that contains tragic events in which the characters are involved. War is just one of the events that seems to captivate audiences. Literature like the story “The Things They Carried” and the poem “Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” paint the truth of events that happen during war. Death appears in both of these works and is the tragic event that changes the theme of the pieces. But what if the theme begins with death and then discussed its effect on the tone of the characters?
This elegy is ultimately written for all soldiers of war and sends the ironic message that the soilders who have fought against each other and could have killed each other are now all floating on the same coastline receiving equal treatment and being buried with their enemy. The theme of anonymity is extensively portrayed throughout this piece as Slessor constantly refers to ‘unknown’ soldiers or ‘someone’. Slessor uses personification and dehumanization to depict the loss of identity within each of the soldiers and the obscured effects of war to show the continuous movement forward of the world despite losses and victories. Personification is shown in the second stanza, 'Between the sob and clubbing of the gunfire '; the use of this technique ironically emphasises that the guns seem to mourn the loss more than humanity does. This leaves the audience feeling distraught and pity for the soldiers as it gives them a sense of the emotions linked to war.