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The Horsemen In The Sky By Ambrose Bierce

1353 words - 5 pages

The Horsemen in the Sky by Ambrose Bierce Works Cited Missing "The Horseman in the Sky" by Ambrose Bierce has many meanings in the
title that makes it such an intriguing story. The title can mean any
of four things if not all of them: a silhouette of a horseman on a
cliff, the actual falling of the horseman from the cliff, the
hypothetical meaning of Mr. Druse falling from heaven, and the irony
of how Carter just called his father a horseman. The last of the four
is ironic because to Carter, his father in war is just another
soldier. It seemed like he didn't even acknowledge that the horseman
is his father. The hypothetical meaning is after Carter kills his dad,
and the falling of his dad could have been like an angel coming down
from heaven.

Carter Druse lives in Virginia with his mom and dad. One day a Union
regiment comes down, and Carter decides to join it. His father being a
true Virginian, says, "go sir, and whatever may occur do what you
conceive to be your duty. Virginia, to which you are a traitor, must
get on without you. Should we both live to the end of the war, we will
speak further of the matter."(28) The father just lets Carter go as if
he doesn't care. Carter's mother has just a few weeks to live, so
maybe this adds to Mr. Druse's disbelief. Carter is trying to hide his
"breaking heart" by saluting his father and walking off to join the
Union army.

Carter is a sentinel for the Union. He is sent out to search the top
of a hill to find out if there is a road leading to the South and
check if his regiment's position is safe. He is on a lower hill while
he sees someone on a horse on a hill above him. His job as a sentinel
is to report and to take out anyone he can who may cause a threat to
the army. He sees the man and loads his rifle. Just as he is going to
shoot, the horseman turns, and looks Carter right in the eyes. Carter
starts to go "pale; he shook in every limb,[and] turned faint"(30) as
he saw that the horseman was his father. This is where we see "the
horseman in the sky" for the first time. It is the silhouette of a man
on a horse atop a hill. Carter is looking up at the horseman, so it
literally means that sees a horseman in the sky. He is...

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