In the short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” Ambrose Bierce uses several descriptions and specific conversations between the round and flat characters to develop the main character traits throughout the story. Bierce methods do not give a word for word account of the character’s individual traits, because he wanted the provided descriptions to allow the reader to draw their own conclusions about each character’s purpose. His technique has produced one round character and a few flat characters that ultimately help develop the main character traits.
The main character in the story is a man by the name of Peyton Farquhar. He is the round character because the whole story revolves around what is happening to this man. Most round characters can be classified as dynamic because they can recognize or can adjust to certain circumstances. In this case, Peyton, the main character is introduced to the reader after the situation had already occurred. The writer started off with Peyton about to be hung by the North for trying to stop them, because some Northern Scout dressed as a Confederate Soldier baited him into it. This initial detail set the story up for a flashback to reveal his character developing into courageous man who was willing to do whatever it took to help the confederate, even if he was not supposed to.
The other characters presented in this story were the Sergeant who hung him, the Northern Scout, and finally his wife. Each of these characters can be classified as a flat character because they are not dynamic in any way, because each one only provides one role throughout the whole story. His wife is probably the most important flat character because she is the reason he reflects on his past and comes to a final realization before he dies. The thought of her, which the reader doesn't know is a thought until the very end, allowed Peyton to also develop his character into something he wished he could have been. The sergeant in the beginning...
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