Ready for a Hanging A teacher stood upon a student desk in northern Alabama, looking down into the dingy classroom carpet twenty feet below. A ring of paper clips closely encircled his neck.
Commentators describe the story as an exploration of a condemned man's psyche during execution. The first is the description of a static scene: In this first section, critics note that Bierce utilizes a myriad of details and military terminology to create an almost handbook description of how to hang a man.
As the noose is placed around Farquhar's neck, Bierce describes the dispassionate actions of the Union soldiers in preparation for the hanging and Farquhar's last-minute desperation to escape. As the moment of his execution arrives, Farquhar perceives the external world slowing down and can hear the ticking of his watch pounding in his ears.
The second section is a flashback to the events that led up to the hanging. Farquhar is revealed not as a hero, but as an arrogant, self-serving plantation owner from a respected Alabama family. Despite his pro-slavery leanings and secessionist beliefs, he never joins the Confederate army and instead remains on his plantation, dreaming of being a soldier and a hero.
When a Federal scout rides up to his plantation disguised as a Confederate soldier, Farquhar confides his far-fetched plan to sabotage the Owl Creek Bridge and kill Union forces.
Farquhar's implausible mission ends in his capture and death sentence. As he escapes the Union forces and finds the road home to his plantation, his neck hurts him and the road disappears from underneath his feet.
The narrative shifts from past tense to present tense as Farquhar returns home, greeted by his beautiful wife. As he embraces her, he feels a stunning blow to the back of his neck as it breaks.
It is revealed that Farquhar's escape from the hangman has been the final fantasy of a dying man. As the moment of his execution arrives, Farquhar deludes himself into believing—albeit for just a few seconds—that he has escaped the hangman's noose and has arrived home to his loving wife.
Therefore, self-delusion is perceived to be another key thematic concern of the story, which is illustrated not only by Farquhar's escape fantasy, but also by his distorted view of himself as a courageous patriot and freedom fighter.
Commentators contend that Bierce makes his contempt for Farquhar very clear, particularly for his avoidance of military duty and his inflated sense of importance.
Much of the critical discussion about the story focuses on the story's surprise ending and investigates clues throughout the piece that reveal that Farquhar's escape was only a hoax.
Several critics have derided the surprise ending, regarding it as a perceptual trap and an unjustified trick. Others praise Bierce's manipulation of time, language, and perspective in the story as masterful and contend that the author placed several clues within the narrative to show Farquhar's fallibility.
Psychological interpretations have been applied to the story, particularly allusions to Freudian and dream theories. A few critics have investigated the origins of the story and the actual location of the bridge by examining events from Bierce's own Civil War experience.An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge: Literary Realism Essay examples - There has been much examination of the more popular terms used in American literature, such as romanticism and classicism, but little examination done on literary realism.
Write Essay ; Teaching ; An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Analysis Literary Devices in An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory.
Setting. A Long Freakin' Time Ago Because we're talking about a story very much rooted in history, it's important to think about the historical setting. In the story itself, Bierce never. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge: Summary and Review Essay Words 3 Pages The short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce was an incredible work of fiction.
How to Write Literary Analysis The Literary Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide. When you read for pleasure, your only goal is enjoyment. You might find yourself reading to get caught up in an exciting story, to learn about an interesting time or place, or just to pass time.
Free Essay: Ambrose Bierce's “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” by Ambrose Bierce, is the story of the hanging of a. Write Essay ; Teaching ; An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Analysis Literary Devices in An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory. Setting. A Long Freakin' Time Ago Because we're talking about a story very much rooted in history, it's important to think about the historical setting. In the story itself, Bierce never.