An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Essay

1061 Words5 Pages
Reading and understanding literature is not as easy as it sounds. Being able to dissect each piece of information and connect it to the overall theme of the story takes lots of rereading and critical thinking. Reading the story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” takes lots of critical thinking and understanding the literature in a different point of view than the average reader would. The theme of this particular story quickly came to mind after initially concluding the reading, the author is trying to convey that nobody can escape death and how thoughts in the mind are so substantial in the consciousness that it can take over the reality. The author comes to this theme by incorporating specific literary elements such a symbol, irony,…show more content…
All these symbols could not happen to an average individual, the reader ignores these symbols. Having so much hope for him to escape the readers will will expect Peyton escape but Bierce turns it around by one sentence at the end of the text, “Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge”. Which brought the reader back into reality, Bierce was able to show that death can not be escaped. The symbolism in the story supports the theme that thoughts in the mind are so substantial in the consciousness that it can take over the reality by clearly showing how in depth and detailed Farquhar's fantasy has become. At the end of the story, after he had traveled for a few days he comes to the gate of his house and realizes his wife, “As he pushes open the gate and passes up the wide white walk, he sees a flutter of female garments; his wife, looking fresh and cool and sweet…” (Bierce 557). The author makes it seem as if he has successfully made it safe at home, but as he runs with excitement to greet his wife reality takes place. “He springs forward with extended arms. As he is about to clasp her he feels a stunning blow upon the back of the neck; a blinding
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