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An Occurrence at Own Creek Bridge

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An Occurrence at Own Creek Bridge In order to combat the horrors or reality, the only weapon that mankind has been presented with is imagination (the ability to create worlds outside of the real world). In An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce demonstrates how in one man's mind, at the verge of desperation, reality can be bent in order to escape from a harsh situation. Peyton Farquhar, the protagonist of the story, faces the obstacle of reaching freedom through his imagination. He is seconds away from being executed and all his mind can do is try to manipulate time into manifesting itself into his own reality. Through the attempt to control time, he is able to escape from the soldiers who are trying to hang him for trying to destroy the bridge. Not knowing whether this escape is real or not, he still battles through water, bullets, and forest to get to where his heart is: his home. The thoughts of his family are what keeps him alive and going. ...read more.


Objects were represented by their colors only; circular horizontal streaks of color - that was all he saw." (457) This description of Farquhar's new surrounding, gives hints to the reader that it might be a possible description in the character's point of view, what he is seeing, not what is actually really there. The use of colors and the shapes of objects lets the reader know what type of images the character wants to see. This search for freedom has made the character delusional, finally ending up to where he wants to be: his home. As he entered his home, when "he is about to clasp [his wife] he feels a stunning blow upon the back of the neck; a blinding white light blazes all about him with a sound like a shock of a cannon - then all is darkness and silence!" (459) Time has caught up to his imagination; the dream that he was manifesting of being in a surrounding that was liberating to his senses was stopped; the unfair reality of time caught up to him. ...read more.


(458) It fit him to be placed in such a world. He preferred to remain in the escape road he was led to, than to witness his own death. He ended up in a beautiful place, almost divine and dream-like; until time stops playing with him and literally snaps all his reason while being hung. Humans struggle their whole lives just to be able to stay alive. Afraid of what may be hidden behind the veils of death, we tend to let imagination get to us by trying to develop another better life so that death is not as scary as it seems. For Peyton Farquhar, instead of dealing with the fact that he is about to die, his mind drifts away into a world where he is able to liberate himself from the strings that are wrapped around him as if the rope were the power of the soldiers choking him down, letting time take over. With the use of setting, symbolism and tone, Bierce was able to set the theme of the strong power that time has over death; that death will eventually come and that no one can escape from it. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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