Ambrose Bierce’s Work, "An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge English 249 Diologic

988 words - 4 pages

Ambrose Bierce’s work, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” is a short story about a man named Peyton Farquhar. Whom is a thriving Southern planter, who so desperately wants to prove his worth as a soldier. His story is told in three sectional flashbacks/dreams. In the first one, Farquhar is standing on the edge of Owl Creek Bridge waiting to be hung. Farquhar shuts his eyes to think about his wife and kids, but then he's quickly sidetracked by a metallic sound which ends up being his watches ticking. Later, opening his eyes and seeing the river, Farquhar thinks about cutting loose his hands and attempting to swim to the bank and make his escape. In section two, Farquhar looks back on the events leading up to present. One day, a Northern spy camouflaged as a Confederate soldier visits the plantation where Farquhar and his wife happily greet him. The scout tells that the Northerners have advanced and are fixing the tracks on Owl Creek Bridge, also that they've built a fort there. The scout also says that the commander issued an order to hang anyone interfering with the railway. Farquhar asks what he can do to ensure that the Confederates win. Then the Scout tells him that it would be relatively easy to burn Owl Creek Bridge. In the third section, Farquhar gets whipped back into the present when he loses consciousness as he tumbles and falls. He snapped free. He then wakes up in the river with Neck pain and trouble breathing. As the soldiers shoot at Farquhar, he swims to the bank and runs into the woods to make it back home to his wife. He sees his wife, runs to her, and just when he's about to touch her, he feels blow to his neck. The story ends with Farquhar dying and his dead body hauntingly swinging on the side of Owl Creek Bridge.
To escape the reality of the situation, Farquhar lies to himself to think that possible to achieve this glory that he's always wanted, over the feat of death. This, in turn, create temporary realities as an attempt to escape his fate. Farquhar, a slave owner, and extremely devoted to the southern cause, has a romantic and idealized view of war. In fact, Bierce once said that “no service was too humble for him to perform in aid of the south, no adventure too perilous for him to undertake if consistent with the character of a civilian who was at heart a soldier.” In a way, Farquhar is obsessed with the opportunity for personable/honorable service. Because what's a soldier without Glory? However, Farquhar is unable to achieve his service due to circumstances of an arrogant nature that had prevented him from taking service with the gallant army that had fought the disastrous campaigns Although he actively thinks that he has the heart of a soldier, he does not have the instincts of one. He was so consumed with the idea...

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