An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce

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In “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, Bierce starts her short story on the edge with Peyton Farquhar, a 35 year old planter from the south, standing on Owl Creek Bridge with his hands tied behind his back and a noose around his neck. There are soldiers from the north surrounding him. Two soldiers, one on each side of him, take away the plank in which he is standing on. Falling to the water, Farquhar focuses his last thoughts on his family, while also having hopes of freeing his hands and diving into the water below. A flashback occurs and readers learn that Farquhar and his wife were sitting on a bench one night when a soldier, who looked as if he was from the south, rode by asking for a glass of water. As the Mrs. goes and gets the…show more content…
Farquhar goes into the forest after being tossed onto land. He travels all day long. Bierce states that “The forest seemed interminable; nowhere did he discover a break in it” (Bierce #). If he could not catch a break this means he had hope in himself that he could make it out. After traveling all day, he was worn out and tired, but “the thought of his wife and children urged him on” (Bierce #). Farquhar thinking of his family is the greatest sense of hope he has throughout the story. His family supplies him with the most hope. When he finally reaches home, he sees his wife and cannot stop explaining how beautiful she looks. “He springs forward with extended arms” (Bierce #), hoping she will meet his. Even though this is where he realizes that all of his actions have been false hope, he still has hope of touching his wife when he extends his arms out for her. From the very beginning of the story, Farquhar has hope that he can get off the board he is standing on and dive into the water, which symbolizes freedom for him, so he can get back to his family. A soon as the two sergeants step aside and drop the board, readers are given the thoughts of hope that run through Farquhar’s head: “If I could free my hands,” he thought, “I might throw off the noose and spring into the stream. By diving I could evade the bullets and, swimming vigorously, reach the bank, take to the woods and get away home. My home, thank God, is as yet outside their lines; my wife and
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