Imagery In 'An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge'

975 Words4 Pages
Ambrose Bierce displays writing skills in the short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” that create an unforgettable tale. By using key literary devices, he takes the reader through an emotional journey. Imagery, prominently displayed throughout the story causes the reader to immerse themselves in their imagination, causing the largest effect on the audience. Within this imagery, Bierce includes symbolism to further enhance the text. Through it, he not only uses imagery to create a world, but he also creates an attachment to the characters. All of which, play into the plot, resulting in the impactful twist ending. In Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” the total effect of imagery conveys evocative sensory details that…show more content…
Throughout the story the author builds upon the protagonist, Peyton Farquhar. This character adds complexity to the text and creates tension. The story states, “He [Farquhar] closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children” (23). In this sentence the reader starts to feel sorry for the man. If Farquhar dies, then he will leave his wife a widow, and his children fatherless. Another example states, “‘To be hanged and drowned,’ he thought, ‘that is not so bad; but I do not wish to be shot. No; I will not be shot; that is not fair’” (26). These thoughts show the reader determination and bravery. Death does not scare this man, and his sense of survival makes the reader hopeful. The text also states, “He stands at the gate of his own home. All is as he left it, and all bright and beautiful in the morning sunshine. He must have traveled the entire night” (30). At this point in the story, Farquhar escapes the grasp of death and travels back to his home. The author includes imagery such as “bright” and “morning sunshine” to give the story a sense of peace and comfort. The author fools the reader with a sense of resolve and victory; however, Bierce soon reveals what truly happens. “ Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge” (31). Because of the descriptive characterization, this final sentence has an unforgettable
Open Document