February 26, 2014
Naturalism in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”
Naturalism is a style and theory of representation based on accurate depiction of detail. A man named Peyton Farquhar is going to be hanged for trying to burn the bridge down. In the story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce. In the short story naturalism is being showed that man is insignificant, nature is ambivalent, and the effect of stress on the average individual.
In the beginning, the story starts by showing how man is insignificant or how people just don’t care. One example would be man of “thirty-five years old who is engaged to be hanged” (Bierce 582). Another example is “He was a civilian, if one might judge form his, habit which was that of a planter” (Bierce 582). They didn’t even tell us the man’s name until we got further into the story and the man’s was “Peyton Farquhar a well-to-do planter” (Bierce 583).
Naturalism occurs with nature as well. In the story it shows that nature does not care about the death of the man and nature keeps on going doing what it normally does. An example of nature not caring about the man’s death is Farquhar is looking beneath his feet and saw “the swirling water of the stream racing madly” (Bierce 583). Another example would have to be “the gray spiders stretching their webs from twig to twig” (Bierce 585).
The last aspect of naturalism is the effect of stress on the average individual. Peyton Farquhar experiences more stress after he is hung because “all at once with a terrible suddenness, the light about him shot upward with the noise of a plash; a frightful roaring was in his hears” (Bierce 585). He was stressed on trying not get shot rather he would get hung or drown. Later in the story when it had reached night fall he was fatigued, footsore, famishing.
Naturalism is a style and theory of representation based on accurate depiction of detail. “An Occurrence at...
Cited: Ambrose Bierce, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. Evanston, Illinois: McDougal Little, 2002
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