While reading "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce. The sense of time, descriptive writing, and plot make this short story, I feel, very worthy of a literary analysis.
At the beginning, there is not a good ending. The main character, Peyton Farquhar, is being hanged. The events leading up to his hanging give the reader a case of anxiety, the reader assumes the death of Peyton as he meets his end. Immediately following, there is a transition into a flashback. The flashback is very valuable, and very well placed. It tells of Peyton's background, and how he most likely came to be in his position at Owl Creek Bridge. The flashback makes the reader forget about the present timing of events, which is very vital in making the illusion of Peyton's daydream a reality. The flashback quickly comes to an end.
The character slips into a very deadly daydream, and so begins the illusion. Through Peyton's imaginary endeavors, the beauty of nature is taken upon the reader in a sense of time that would in most cases not be useful. Time comes to a near halt as Peyton, in his daydream, has managed to fall into the stream that he was being hanged over, and tries to make his escape. During the intense situation of dodging re-capture or death, everything taken for granted in normal day life is being detailed through Bierce's descriptive writing. As Peyton makes his way across the stream, dragonflies buzz around the sluggish stream. Insects on leaves, spiders spinning intricate webs, millions of blades of grass, and dancing gnats fill Peyton's vivid daydream.(9) Through the entire scene, time comes to a halt. Instead of the usual action escape scene, Bierce creatively makes the reader acknowledge the finer points of a near death experience- a very unselfish focus on what the reader would most likely miss on this world, instead of focusing on bettering the unfortunate situation. The thought of his wife and children urged him on.(11)