Owl Creek Bridge Suspense

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“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” written by Ambrose Bierce, was originally published in 1890. Though it is a short story, Bierce finds opportunities to employ numerous literary techniques throughout to make the literature action-packed. These literary techniques create and sustain suspense throughout the entire reading. Possibly the most prominent literary technique found in this story is imagery. Imagery is described as “the use of figurative language to represent objects, actions, and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses” (literarydevices.net). Bierce exerts numerous examples of this. In part I, when the soldiers are about to let Farquhar hang, he closes his eyes to fix his “last thoughts” on his family. This is the moment he begins to lose his sanity. “If I could free my hands… reach the bank, take to the woods and get away home… My wife and little ones are still beyond the invader’s farthest advance” (Bierce 483). This creates suspense by making the reader think Farquhar is going to attempt to escape his doomed situation and get back to his family, but that suspense is quickly retracted when Bierce suddenly ends part I and goes into part II. However, that suspense is then resumed in part III when Farquhar does indeed try to escape and get back home… or so we think. The entirety of the “escape sequence” in part III is an example of…show more content…
These three examples are only a few of the suspenseful elements used in this short story. In many ways, this story was ahead of its time. Creating visual pictures similar to what we see on cinema screens in today’s modern age. Movie directors can easily create authentic suspense, but it’s more difficult to do in writing. Bierce absolutely, expertly used literary technique upon literary technique to create suspense in this short
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