Narration & Description, and the Writing Process

Topics: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce, Perception Pages: 3 (802 words) Published: May 11, 2013

Module 1 Case Assignment: Narration & Description, and the Writing Process

ENG 102 English Composition II
Trident University International

Module 1 Case Assignment: Narration & Description, and the Writing Process

In the story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce, the reader is presented with a narrative in which the concept of time is perceived by the main character, Payton Fahrquhar as an unbound period that allows his imagination to substitute his current reality with an alternate one. In other words, in order to better accept his fate, Fahrquhar is left with no other option than to resort to his own imagination and visualize an outcome that is more to his own liking. Throughout the story, Bierce goes on to describe how Fahrquhar executes an audacious escape from the noose through a barrage of musket and cannon fire after plunging into the river and swimming to safety. All of this culminating in Fahrquhar’s body hanging from a noose at Owl Creek Bridge, thus revealing that the story actually occurred within a matter of seconds and ultimately ending in our protagonist’s demise. At the beginning of the story we are introduced to Fahrquar not by name, but rather by the author’s description of him as a man facing death by hanging at the hands of union soldiers. In Bierce’s brief description of Fahrquar, we are told that he is a man of about thirty-five years of age who stands on top of a plank; at which time he “let his gaze wander to the swirling water of the stream racing madly beneath his feet” (Bierce, Unknown), all the while seeing a piece of driftwood floating in the water and could not help noticing “how slowly it appeared to move!” (Bierce, Unknown). It is with this description of Fahrquhar’s predicament that we are first welcomed into his perception of time and how it begins to create a more acceptable outcome for him. This point is further reinforced in the first part of the...
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