Peyton Farquhar's Death In An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

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People say that before you die, your life flashes before your eyes. That's pretty much what happened to Peyton. In the story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" the main character, Peyton Farquhar, could only have imagined his escape home before he died. In the story Ambrose Bierce foreshadows the fatal ending by using literary devices. Two literary devices Bierce uses is imagery and detail. At the end of the story, the plot turns 180 degrees and we find out that Peyton has, in fact, been hanged; we are amazed that this could have happened. However, when we analyze this sudden turn, we realize that all through the story we have been subtly forewarned of Farquhar's demise. We are alerted of the difference between real time and the…show more content…
He finally gets his hands untied using his “Superhuman strength” and as he ends his struggle "The cord fell away; his arms parted and floated upward, the hands dimly seen on each side in the growing light.” This creates an image in the reader's head of his limp arms and body floating up to the surface towards the light. As Farquhar leaps toward his wife with wide arms, about to embrace her, he feels "a stunning blow upon the back of his neck" seeing a "blinding white light (blaze) all about him with a sound (...) of a cannon" then suddenly, "all is darkness and silence" (Bierce). This though, being the last sentence before the finale, it ties the whole story to and end with a final foreshadow. It helps foreshadow the events of Farquhar's final death because of the loud cannon shock, the darkness and silence, and finally the white light. The cannon shock helps foreshadow the snap of his broken neck upon him being hung. The imagery of the white light foreshadows his body ascending from its physical form and onto another state of being. Finally, the darkness and silence foreshadows the shutting down of his senses into his final
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