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Of Ambrose Bierce's An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

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When someone is captured by the enemy in war, they are more than likely going to die. Escaping and running thousands of miles back home where family is does not happen like one might see in the movies. In war, people die. Ambrose Bierce tried to express that heavily when he wrote An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge. Looking into it through a New-Historicism criticism, Ambrose Bierce’s background, the background on the Civil War, and how the plot--more specifically the war--is portrayed can back up the idea that Ambrose Bierce wrote An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge as a message to say that war is something that should not be romanticized. To start off, a look into Ambrose Bierce’s past might help explain why his message is that war should not…show more content…
Ambrose Bierce does what a lot of writers do not, which is portray the war how it actually might have been. It is portrayed very violently and there is a real feeling of fear throughout the story when Peyton is trying to escape from the enemy soldiers. This helps portray the message because war is a scary thing, but romanticizing it makes it sound a lot more bearable, when in reality it is not. The imagery also helps because it brings the story to life by instilling in the reader's head how Peyton Farquhar was feeling moments before his death. Bierce uses the image of water quite a bit in the story to explain the surroundings, which were not ideal, but it can also work as a way to show how his mind was flowing before he was hung. Peyton’s mind was flowing very rapidly through what he thought was his last moments alive, and that is similar to the rapid flowing of the water. Overall, there are a lot of elements that can help express Ambrose Bierce’s message while writing An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, which was: War is not something that should be romanticized. Some of those elements are Ambrose Bierce’s background, why Ambrose Bierce had such a strong disliking for the war, the background of the Civil War, the plot structure, and the
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