Analysis of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Essay

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Although the story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek,” is ironic, there are other literary elements represented in the story. Perhaps Ambrose Bierce’s most famous works, he used imagery from his own personal experiences in the Civil War, which adds to the suspense of the short story. Imagination is a difficult word to define. The ability to have a daydream, or picture with vivid details, is what imagination could be. An imagination is key for some people, who escape real life into a fantasy world. Bierce's “An Occurrence at Owl Creek” uses point of view, structure, and symbolism to show the power or capability of imagination. Point of view, was used very effectively in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek.” Although point of view can be effective in any…show more content…
All of the scenes the audience imagined were fake and imagined by Peyton. He had those vivid details of life, in the split seconds, prior to his death. As mentioned in the introduction, Bierce wrote “An Occurrence at Owl Creek,” and used his accounts of the war effectively in the story. According to Hal Holladay, “the use of the adverb “gently” to describe the movement of Farquhar’s [Peyton’s] dead body…are clear indications of Bierce’s cynicism” (Holladay). The structure of the story, helps to show the significance of the power of imagination in life. Bierce used structure to help influence this idea, to help reader to understand the main character’s problem in the context of the story. At the beginning of the story, the main character Peyton Farquhar, is shown on a bridge. Peyton, according to the text, “stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below” (83). From the opening sentence, Bierce has definitely grabbed the readers’ attention. Readers can imagine the scenes, in which the action is occurring. Bierce used structure to make point of view appear better throughout the story. Instead of explaining why Peyton was hanged first, Bierce went to the actual hanging itself. The story could have been better if it went chronically, but since information was withheld, the story became better. Bierce jumped around in his story, and had time to
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