Ever wind up in an astonishing circumstance, wanting it to be just a bad dream you would long wake up from, simply to understand its reality which is fixed because of an uncontrollable situation? In the short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” author Ambrose Bierce begins with the main character Peyton Farquhar who is being prepared to be hung by Union Soldiers. The story penetrates into his mind and reveals his reflect before his death. Bierce makes him one of the casualties of wars.
Peyton was a Confederate plantation owner whose war begins when he shows courage by having the devotion for the South with an intention to burn down the bridge. I like, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” because of two conflicts which was revealed man vs self, man vs man, and the unique plot twist. The most obvious external conflict was man vs man. The soldier who appeared at Peyton house to be from the Confederate army put him in the situation of being executed. When he approaches the federal scout inquiring about news, “The solider reflected, “I was there a month ago,” he replied. “I observed that the flood of last winter had lodged a great quantity of driftwood against the wooden pier at this end of the bridge. It is now dry and would burn like tinder” (Bierce).
The man was actually a Federal scout who trickled Farquhar into accomplishing something that would lead to his death. Finally, the plot twist at the end of the story made it quite entertaining. As Peyton neared his home and reached his wife, the rope tightened around his neck more and more. When he was about to reach his wife, “Ah, how beautiful she is! He springs forwards with extended arms. As he is about to clasp her he feels a stunning blow upon the back of the neck”(Bierce) . When Peyton felt the sharp pain, he was feeling the rope snapping his neck. At that moment, he died. The realizes that Peyton’s escape was not real and that he never escaped his death. The shock value of this story is extreme considering the fact that the reader is taken on a journey through Peyton’s mind as he is dying. Bierce expertly used Peyton life to give the reader an exciting experience.
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