“an Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”

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10-19-2010

“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”
“As he is about to clasp her he feels a stunning blow upon the back of the neck; a blinding white light blazes all around him with a sound like the shock of a cannon—then all is darkness and silence”. Ambrose Bierce has a unique way of captivating reader’s attention and it is perfectly shown in his short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. The story tells about a man in southern Alabama during the Civil War, which is about to be hanged by a group of Union soldiers. This man to be hanged is identified as a gentleman named Peyton Farquhar who attempted to destroy the Owl Creek Bridge, the same one they are standing on. Suddenly, the rope snaps and he falls into the river where he somehow manages to swim ashore in order to escape from the Union soldiers. As he pulls himself ashore, he now starts the long journey home. After walking all day and night without feeling “the roadway beneath his feet” he arrives home and as he is about to hug his wife, he feels a strong pain in his neck and hears a loud noise. Farquhar was now dead by hanging, and all of his escape was just a dream of his. It is set in the Owl Creek Bridge in Alabama where Peyton Farquhar is about to be hanged early in the morning. The whole story happens just in one day, even though the author mentions flashbacks of Peyton’s past. On one side of the creek there is forest and on the other is a group of Union Soldiers. There is a cannon hiding in a line of trees and the soldiers are preparing to execute Farquhar with a rope around his neck.

There is only one main character in the story and three secondary characters. Peyton Farquhar is a plantation owner who comes from a wealthy family from the south. However he is a strong supporter of the Southern cause. He is arrested and is to be hanged by the Union soldiers because he attempted to destroy Owl Creek Bridge so that the Union soldiers wouldn’t pass by his hometown. There is also Mrs....
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