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A fine line between fantasy and fiction.

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Introduction

Quinn Moneyham English 1020 Mrs. Simms November 6, 2003 A Fine Line Between Fantasy and Fiction Metafiction defines fictional writing which self-consciously and systematically draws attention to its status as an artifact in order to pose questions about the relationship between fiction and reality (Waugh 2). Metafiction, a term used loosely across many genres of fictions, gives the idea of fiction as, concepts with the intention of going beyond the familiar or presumed reality (Hembree 1). Using metafiction to describe a works allows for usage along a full spectrum of ideas. Metafiction provides the foundation for many short stories and other works of fiction. Ambrose Bierce, a highly criticized innovator of experimental fiction, uses aspects of metafiction effectively in his writing projects. In one of his most famous works, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," Bierce uses metafictional characteristics to create a measure of comparison for the genre. In the words of literary critic Cathy Davidson, "Bierce has staked his claim as 'the precursor of postmodern fiction.'" Bierce's short stories create intense drama in a small amount of space, although usually leaving readers with many questions, strongly placing his works into the metafiction genre. Often compared to the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, the close examination of time, the attention given to mental fiction to avoid real life, and the blending of reality and fiction allow Bierce's works of fiction, the annotation of classic. ...read more.

Middle

The reader loses sight of clues indicating the death of Farquhar. His dream of escape is his last conscious thought. Then, he plunges to his death; nevertheless his "post-mortem consciousness" continues to act out the fantasy. Although, the author gives the protagonist supernatural characteristics, such as keen hearing and seeing, the realistic nature of the story allows the reader to overlook the indication. Despite the vivid nature of the fantasy, as real as the escape seems, Farquhar's death inevitably must occur. The strong blends of reality and fiction create a grand story. In Part Three, the narrative takes over from the end of Part One. Bierce uses hints to explain the extreme conditions of Farquhar's situation. Bierce warns the reader with comments such as, " it seemed to him...(Bierce 110)" that Farquhar is no longer reliable. The narrative voice becomes Latinate. The shift in voice creates a seg-way from fantasy back to reality. Part Three suggests a somewhat after death experience: " saw above him a gleaming light...sense of suffocation...poignant agonies seemed to shoot his neck. (Bierce 110-111)" Farquhar returns to reality. Bierce's description of Farquhar's extreme agonies creates confusion for the reader. The end of the story, again, alludes to an escape. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, the more information I got the less time I had to read it. I sat down 2 Saturdays ago; the auburn football game was away...so...I started to read. The more I read the more there seemed to be to read...that got boring so I put my paper off until another day where I could be more "focused." I did learn from reading though a really good definition of focus is the elimination of all other thoughts clouding the mind...something that never happens to me.... but anyway I have a very strong background in English and literary writing from high school which I am very thankful for, but it didn't help with this paper. There are so many ways and spins that it could be written with all the information in my face I didn't know where to start. I don't feel like my end result is all that great and like I said before I don't think this is the best paper I have ever written. However, I am finished!!! *Cheers from the crowd* this paper along with numerous other things and instructors have made for a very long and tiresome week. I hope that now, although somewhat cynical in nature I can retire for the night into a peaceful slumber.... and yes just like Farquhar I must snap back into reality and finish the rest of my homework.... Moneyham 2 ...read more.

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