An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge: Summary and Review Essay

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The short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce was an incredible work of fiction. The choice to tell this story from an omniscient point of view is what made this story phenomenal. Because we are experiencing all of the emotions that the condemned man felt, we are drawn into his private world. If we had heard this from a more traditional point of view, it wouldn't have been nearly as touching or personal as it was. The way the story was told gave us the impression that we were there, floating above it, and witnessing every moment. This story was about a man named Peyton Farquhar. He was a well-off southern planter from Alabama. We know this because his family was "old and highly-respected" and he was a slave…show more content…
The structure of this story is interesting. The first chapter is the current state of affairs. As we are reading, Peyton is presently alive and pondering his death. We know of the officers who are there and the fashion by which they will hang him. We know what Peyton is feeling, seeing, and hearing through a very detailed setting. There are specific details that set the scenario. The first four paragraphs describe how and where the soldiers are set up, awaiting the hanging. Although there are many, many soldiers of different ranks present, the mood is calm and at ease. The beginning of the fifth paragraph gives us the setting. "The water, touched to gold by the early sun, the brooding mists under the banks..." The military may be calm because they know there is no way out of this for Peyton, but Peyton is very much ill at ease. We begin to sense his anguish and his sense of madness in the beginning of paragraph 5. He is hoping he can fixate his mind on his wife and kids but the fierce ticking of his watch is too distracting for him. To him it is counting down his death with a furious drumming that is so loud he wants to scream (par. 5). Paragraph six is the complete foreshadowing for Chapter three. His brief thoughts that ran through his mind about his escape and survival happened to be the last thoughts that raced through his head before

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