American Literature has had many different and dynamic styles of writing throughout its relatively short history. It seems though that we remember the writers who style and world intrigued us the most. The ones who people never really knew what the author was thinking or why he was writing what he was. The writers who wrote the gothic and almost scary stories of the late 19th century stick out in many peoples mind. Many people recall Edgar Allen Poe, but the other Author that may not get as much attention is Ambrose Bierce. He has a very distinct style to create an even more distinct world for his stories. The world that Ambrose Bierce creates is one of despair and uncertainty, where his characters always seem to have a fate that they would rather not fulfill. His characters always seem to have a bad outcome and a hopeless end.
“An Arrest” is a short story that Ambrose Bierce wrote that falls into his world of despair perfectly. The first sentence of this short story goes as follows, “Having murdered his brother-in-law, Orrin Brower of Kentucky was a fugitive from justice”. Already after the first sentence Bierce shows you that the character is already doomed. Also Bierce shows us with this first sentence that Orrin was trying to avoid his fate. Ambrose goes on to explain that the fugitive escaped the county jail by hitting a guard with an iron pipe. He also tells us why Orrin had escaped the jail; he escaped because he was awaiting trial. By Bierce telling the reader that Orrin was awaiting trial for murder and escapes, he is showing us that he is desperate and trying to escape his fate. It does not take Bierce long to create his world and he knows very well how to do it.
A second story that demonstrates Ambrose Bierce’s world is “A Wireless Message”. This story really outlines the uncertainty and confusion that lives in the writing world of Ambrose. The story opens up with Bierce telling us that William Holt, the main character, has just...
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