Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

1127 WordsFeb 23, 20055 Pages
Out of all the stories I have read in class so far, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce, has touched me most. When I first began reading the story I felt as though I was not interested, because my assumptions of what the story was going to be about were completely different than the stories actual content. As I set aside my judgment and let myself try to enjoy the story, I found myself anxiously reading to the bitter end. This story was not only interesting and unique, but also had an added twist at the end, which surprised most readers. Depending on how observant the reader is with picking up on foreshadowing and symbolic meaning, one may realize before the final sentences that Peyton Farquar was not actually escaping…show more content…
My home, thank God, is as yet outside their lines; my wife and little ones are still beyond the invader's farthest advance." Peyton shows signs of denial in this segment by presenting the possibility of escaping which is highly improbable at this point. An example of anger would be when the author says, "To die of hanging at the bottom of a river!--the idea seemed to him ludicrous." "To be hanged and drowned," he thought, "that is not so bad; but I do not wish to be shot. No; I will not be shot; that is not fair." As Peyton begins hallucinating, he expresses anger that he might actually be shot now that he has escaped the hanging. An instance of depression strikes when the author says, "By nightfall he was fatigued, footsore, famished. His neck was in pain and lifting his hand to it found it horribly swollen." He is exhausted and disoriented. Even the stars look different and "He was sure they were arranged in some order which had a secret and malign significance." This shows clear signs of his struggle coming to an end, leading him into a depression that rationalizes his impossible survival. Falling into acceptance occurs when he feels as if he had "…recovered from a delirium…" and he sees his home,"…all bright and beautiful" "At the bottom of the steps she stands waiting, with a smile of ineffable joy, an attitude of matchless grace and dignity. Ah, how beautiful she is! He springs
Open Document