An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. Paper Example

Published: 2023-01-29
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  American Civil War Judicial system Family Books
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 579 words
5 min read

The story An Occurrence at Own Creek Bridge was written in 1999 by Ambrose Bierce. The story is based in the Civil War, in which a man, Peyton Farquhar, is arrested for interfering with the bridge. Time is an essential aspect the author uses to manipulate readers. Due to the crime, the court ordered the man to be hanged. The author designs this story to maintain readers' attention, and focus on understanding more about what happens at the end. While standing toward the end of the plank, Peyton beginnings to dream about how he can run back to his family. At the end of the story, Bierce shows how the man is still dreaming, but unfortunately, he is hanged. The story is full of uncertainty due to the application of flashbacks, the setting, and Peyton's senses.

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In the story, the author has effectively used a lot of flashbacks to show the real lifestyle of Peyton. These flashbacks help the reader to understand Peyton's life before he was arrested interfering with the bridge. In this case, the author explains Peyton works as a slave, "a well-to-do planter, as well as a slave owner who is devoted to the Southern cause" (Bierce, 532). Additionally, the soldier tells Peyton that Yanks are repairing the roads. Therefore, any person arrested interfering with these structures with face the same punishment. However, the soldier comes from a Federal Scout in the North, while Peyton was a Southern Plantation owner. Based on this statement, each person has a different perception of what they say is right.

The setting of story takes place in a forest. The forest is associated with the largest incidence where the author creates a lot of uncertainty. While Peyton is was waiting for the punishment, he looks around the forest and sees someone. However, the author says, "... nobody was in sight; the railroad ran straight away into a forest for a hundred yards, then, curving, was lost to view" (Bierce, 531). When Peyton views that he is about to die, he says, "... black bodies of the trees formed a straight wall on both sides, terminating on the horizon... (Bierce, 535)" as such, the author creates suspense when as he makes Peyton feels that the forest is the best place for him.

When Peyton is standing on the beam of the bridge, he suspects that there is a sound coming. He says "...striking through the thought of his dear ones was a sound which he could neither ignore nor understand... (Bierce, 531)" Based on this text, Peyton is so worried, and hence, his mind continuously perceives as there is someone around. Additionally, the author shows how Peyton's thinks that death is inevitable to save his life. Whenever he engages in activities, his sense is so much focus on the kind of action ahead of him. He says, "... ripples upon his face and heard their separate sounds as they stuck" (Bierce, 533).

In conclusion, the author creates a lot of uncertainty by how she deploys flashback, the setting, and the use of Peyton's senses. In this case, the author tries to show how the story is full of suspense as Peyton is waiting to be hanged. He is associated with a lot of thought which highly disturbs his thinking. As such, he tries to think how he can do to escape from the action, but end up being hanged.

Works Cited

Bierce, Ambrose. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." The American Experience. Ed. Eileen Thompson. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall inc, 1999. 530-536.

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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. Paper Example. (2023, Jan 29). Retrieved from

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