Sleep and Bierce

Topics: Sleep, Ambrose Bierce, Tears Pages: 3 (812 words) Published: November 2, 2008

In the story Chickamauga Ambrose Bierce uses the narrator to tell the story through the eyes of the boy. The reader gets to know the protagonist through the narrator who the author uses to reveal some of the characters directly through disturbing details and others indirectly by describing the reaction of the character to certain situations.

The boy in the story is the protagonist. The author introduces you to the boy in the begining of the story. Biecre lets you know the boy is young first by telling you he is a child of young age and second by describing the actions of the boy. Bierce tells us the boy was frightened by a rabbit, "Advancing from the bank of the creek, he suddenly found himself confronted with a new and more formidable enemy: in the path that he was following, bolt upright, with ears erect and paws suspended before it, sat a rabbit! With a startled cry the child turned and fled, he knew not in what direction, calling upon his mother, weeping, stumbling, his tender skin cruelly torn by brambles, his little heart beating hard with terror- breathless, blind with tears- lost in the forest!" (126).

Bierce shows us that the boy does not take war seriously, that it is more like a game to him. As Bierce describes the soldiers he states, "Not all of this did the child note;" (127). Bierce describes the boys thoughts on the war victims as something from a circus, "Something too, perhaps, in their grotesque attitude and movements- reminded him of the painted clown whom he had seen last summer in the circus, and he laughed as he watched them. On they crept, these maimed and bleeding men, as heedless as he of the dramatic contrast between his laughter and their own ghastly gravity. To him it was a merry spectacle." (127). The boy compares the soldiers to his father's negroes, "He had seen his father's negroes creep upon their hands and knees for his amusement- had ridden them so, fancying them his horse. He now approached one of these...
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