An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

1288 Words Sep 14th, 2015 6 Pages
Through a shifting point of view, the narrator leaves the reader pondering whether Farquhar will be able to escape. The narrator of the short story knows everything about Farquhar:

who he is, what he does, and what he thinks and feels. Through pronouns such as “he”, “his” and “him”, the narrator is speaking in third person. Because the narrator 's knowledge is limited to one character, the story is written from a limited omniscient point of view. “An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge” is split into three sections. At the beginning of the story, the narrator states, “A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama . . . a rope closely encircled his neck” (Bierce). Immediately, the reader knows the protagonist is about to be hanged and the story is taking place in northern Alabama. Through these specific details, the narrator is establishing his or her credibility. The second section breaks up the otherwise linear sequence of events with a flashback, where the protagonist, Peyton Farquhar, is introduced, as well as how Farquhar was deceived into undergoing a plan to prevent Union troops from crossing Owl Creek Bridge. While the flashback may take course over a span of several days, it actually takes place in roughly fifteen seconds of “real” time. Don Asher Habibi, in his critical essay, “The Experience of a Lifetime: Philosophical Reflections on a Narrative Device of Ambrose Bierce, argues “Framing a story within a flashback is a common narrative technique”. In…
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