• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

one of the missing

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

One of the Missing is based on a federal sniper named Jerome Searing, who is trapped under a collapsed outpost, staring down the barrel of his own gun which is apparently cocked. Bierce gives us a realistic description of Searings strengths and weaknesses. We are told that he is 'an incomparable marksman, young, hardy, intelligent and insensible to fear.' Unlike Farquhar he has joined the army but their missions are similar; as he does 'not serve in the ranks' but 'he may perform services for which no provision is made in orders and army regulations. At the beginning of the story Searing is sent out to spy on the movements of the confederate army. We get a strong sense the he is in his element as he stealthily crept through the forest. This is emphasised by the effective simile 'his pulse was as regular, his nerves were as steady as if he was trying to trap a sparrow.' Bierce is also realistic in how he portrays Searing's callousness. This is shown when he considers firing on the retreating confederates, calculating 'where he could plant his shot with the best hope of making a widow or an orphan or a childless mother - perhaps all 3.' ...read more.

Middle

Bierce emphasises that it is he who orders the firing of a field gun which brings down the structure searing is hiding in. Bierce describes the sound of the shell as like 'the wings of a great bird swooping down upon its prey.' From this part in the story events spiral out of Searings control. The most obvious example of this is that he is now apparently facing death from his own rifle. The final part of the story is a highly realistic portrayal of Searing's deterioration from fearless soldier to gibbering wreck. As in the 'escape' scene of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Bierce shows himself extremely capable of presenting the physiological side of those in extreme and possibly fatal conditions, e.g. Searing begins to imagine the bullet from his own gun has been fired and is penetrating his brain more deeply until its progress is arrested by the wood at the back of his head. He is also mesmerized by little ring of metal, the barrel of his gun, and is so terrified that he loses all thoughts of home, his wife and children, of country, of glory.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Both of these stories are memorable because of the realistic way in which they potray war. The skills and ambitions of both searing and Farquhar end in death and there is wide ironic gaps between their desire for success and distinction and the fate that they both suffer. Although we are shown of the effect war has had on both men, Bierce is also aware of the cost of civilians; as both men leave wives and families behind. This is particularly ironic to Searing as he is attracted to the prospect of making confederate widows and orphans. A major theme in both stories, as we have seen, id that human life becomes devalued in war time and soldiers become impersonal and callous when it comes to taking human life and it can become somewhat of a habit. Contrast can be made between both titles of the stories, as they both describe the events in their story to be impersonal and a regular occurrence during time of war. Through out both stories Bierce has effectively used language to convey the grim realities and both stories leave memorable scenes i.e. after Peyton's imagined escape that he is hanging under Owl Creek Bridge or that Searing's appearance has been altered to the point where his own brother does not recognise him. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Catherine's diary - 'A View From The Bridge'

    Midway through Catherine's emotional speech Eddie is left with 'tears in his eyes'; by writing this in stage directions Miller makes the

  2. A view from the bridge

    This creates tension and pathos, evoking strong feelings of pity and sorrow within the audience. In Greek tragedy the chorus (in this case Alfieri) informs the audience of events throughout the performance, narrate off-stage happenings such as "." Alfieri commentates on the characters; tell the audience what to think and even what is going to happen.

  1. one girl one dream

    The strange dark man left, dragging the 2 bodies behind him. I broke out of the toy chest and went to the bathroom; I splashed water onto my face to revive my self, I knew it wasn't worth getting worked up about as I already had a mission to complete.

  2. Adventure begins here.

    Absolutely sick. How did you wake up to yourself in the morning knowing you had killed someone?" he whispered. "Look Ian lied. I didn't just push Billy boy in for the sake of it. Ian pulled me away from the others taking the knife to my neck saying that I

  1. The Fatal Mistake

    She wasn't hurt much, she was just in shock. Her father took her to the hospital and within an hour she was fine as before. When she regained consciousness, she searched for Mala. Mala stood beside her with a trophy in her hand. "So Ms. Singer, how are you feeling?", she asked. "I am fine", she managed to mutter.

  2. Okonkwo - strengths and weaknesses

    Okonkwo is impulsive; he acts before he thinks. Consequently, Okonkwo offends the Igbo people and their traditions as well as the gods of his clan. Okonkwo is advised not to participate in the murder of Ikefemuna, but he actually kills Ikefemuna because he is "afraid of being thought weak."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work