Ambrose Bierce's An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce, tells the story of a confederate secessionist, who is being hung by Union troops in Northern Alabama. At the time, the protagonist Peyton Fahrquhar, is about to be hung by soldiers dropping him from the bridge. Fortunately, he plummets from the bridge facing certain death when the rope snaps and he dives into the “sluggish stream”. This event alone would grant hope to even the most unfortunate soul in the most peerless of times. He astoundingly manages to free his hands from a bound state as he clutches at the rope around his neck, trying to make his way to the surface. When he reaches the bank of the creek, he runs for what seems like an eternity. He…show more content…
It forces the reader to question what reality is, something that has driven and alluded the minds of great thinkers for eternity. When Peyton was going on about the noise “he could neither ignore nor understand, a sharp, distinct, metallic percussion like the stroke of a blacksmith's hammer upon the anvil” was beyond brilliant. The imagery of this sentence left me wanting more from Bierce, and he delivered, as he elaborately described the incessant ticking of Peyton’s watch. I believe this to be the most pivotal moment in the entire story. Peyton realizes that these are his final moments on earth, and out of desperation he devises a plan in his mind, to escape. “He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children” Peyton feels as though he is escaping. He creates a fictional world for himself which is all a result of him disowning the present moment. "...the light about him shot upward with the noise of a loud splash; a frightful roaring was in his ears, and all was cold and dark.......; his neck ached horribly; his brain was on fire; his heart, which had been fluttering faintly, gave a great leap, trying to force itself out of his mouth. His whole body was racked and wrenched with an insupportable anguish!" The collection of imagery leads you to believe that Peyton is actually escaping because of what he perceives with his senses. However, you learn that one cannot trust ones senses all
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