Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce, Frederick Douglass, and Kate Chopin

Topics: Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Slavery in the United States Pages: 2 (601 words) Published: April 6, 2011
Commentary of Three Authors
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce, Frederick Douglass, and Kate Chopin are all South American writers, who demonstrate themes about realism, slavery, and racism. In order to convey their themes efficiently, they use literary and rhetorical techniques to make their stories veracious. Among three authors, Bierce and Chopin share literary tools, such as simile and foreshadowing. In An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, the author uses simile to vivify his story and emphasize his theme, reality vs. illusion. For example, when Farquhar reaches a river bank, he compares the sand with jewels by saying “it looked like diamonds, rubies, emeralds” (12). Since those jewels are expensive and hard to be discovered, the author emphasizes Farquhar’s luck and bless of escaping and surviving. Moreover, the colorful image of sand helps readers to detect the change of narrators’ tone and suspect whether the situation is real or his illusion. Similarly, in Desiree’s Baby, the author describes the change in the demeanor of Armand by saying “he absented himself from home; and when there, avoided her presence and that of her child, without excuse” (3). It foreshadows the separation between Armand and Desiree with her baby and builds a tension in the story. Then, when Desiree looks at her child and the son of La Blanche, one of their slaves, the narrator says her “blood turned like ice in her veins, and a clammy moisture gathered upon face” (3). The author emphasizes Desiree's realization and astonishment about the race of her child by comparing her blood to ice. With the simile, the phrase becomes an outstanding description and works as a turning point of the story. In addition, two writers end their stories with a brief and ironical end. In An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, the author returns from illusion to reality by saying “Peyton Fahrquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge” (13)....
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