An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge By A. Bierce

948 words - 4 pages

Short store by A. Bierce An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is a third person narrative. This type of narrative is generally perceived as objective and trustworthy. By choosing such point of view the writer creates the world that does not depend on the opinion or evaluation of the author. The narrator does not distort reality using the power of his imagination. In the story the narrator is a dispassionate witness observing destiny in action. However, describing certain scenes the narrator seems to be hesitating and failing to understand what is happening. It is evident in the use of words such as “may”, “probably”, “perhaps”. The writer describes the setting in details to create the effect of ...view middle of the document...

That opportunity, he felt, would come, as it comes to all in war time”. He is talked by the Federal scout into planning to burn the bridge. The conflicts feeds on the destructive instinct that lay dormant in Farquhar. As soon as the farmer saw an opportunity to take part in the war, the mechanism of destiny was set in motion and the death of the protagonist became inevitable. Even though Farquhar knew about the order to punish the deeds he was planning by death, he became too excited by the chance to show his real quality and was no longer cautious. The literal conflict led to the farmer’s arrest and his standing on the Owl Creek Bridge awaiting execution. The symbolic conflict in the story is the conflict between life and death. The character is unable to accept the imminent death so he tries to subdue the thoughts about the execution, control it using aesthetic illusion. The symbolic conflict becomes the basis for the structure of the short story. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge has double denouement that corresponds to the protagonist’s view of the situation because his approach to the execution is both rational and irrational. The symbolic conflict was created by the writer to show the readers physiological experience of a dying person.
In this view, time and consciousness play crucial role. Unable to stand the waiting for the execution Farquhar dreams of new possibilities in life because his consciousness refuses to contemplate the unbearable truth. In several minutes that pass between the farmer’s life and death he elaborates a convincing and detailed story of his successful escape. At first the reader is inclined to believe that Farquhar managed to trick death itself. However, certain details such as large number of events...

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