"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and Other Civil War Stories

Analyzing Point of View in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" College

Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” tells the tale of a Southern farmer who has been sentenced to execution by hanging after being set up by a scout from the North. The story follows his train of thought as he tries to come to terms with leaving his family behind. As he is being hanged, Farquhar somehow manages to escape the ropes tied around him and makes it to his wife after dodging the bullets of the soldiers. In a twist to the tale, we come to find out that Farquhar had died when he was hanged and didn’t escape his death. That being said, the central idea of this story is that at the moment of death, the mind can become your worst enemy.

In this case, Farquhar believes that he is alive until all goes dark and the narrator states “Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge (Bierce, 6). ” The main character of the story, Peyton Farquhar, can be described as a flat and static character as he does not change throughout the course of this story. In section two of the story, Farquhar is described to be a “well-to-do planter, of an old and highly respected Alabama family (Bierce, 2).” This does not change for Farquhar as it can...

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