An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge Analysis

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Reality versus imagination is a recurring theme throughout literature that allows us to have a general idea about something that may be initially perceived as fact, only for it to be revealed as false. Often times it is simpler to pick out the facts from the fake, but since Bierce intentionally uses reality and imagination for confusion, it might not be as easy to choose the facts each time. In An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Peyton Farquhar was desperate, and the thought of surviving and reuniting with his family helped to control his ultimate fear of facing his demise. The perspective of the story goes through many changes of consciousness with a back and forth between his imagination with what is truly happening to him, which shows a…show more content…
Throughout his journey, however, there are many examples that illustrate this claim by blurring the lines between reality and imagination. Certain colors play a significant role in this journey and seem to portray certain themes, such as the color gray and the shade of darkness, which strongly contribute to the dreariness and gloom that this story presents. Farquhar recalls reading that gray eyes are the “keenest” and that “all the great marksmen had them” while he was looking at his killer from the water with his own gray eyes (Bierce). The color gray is also known to have been the color of the Confederate uniform, and when the faux rebel asked for a drink of water, Farquhar clearly observed the gray-clad soldier. The soldier seemed to portray the truth, only to be an illusion of it by attempting to be someone who he is not and by having Farquhar fall for his scheme. This is important because the color gray seems deceiving to Farquhar with this illusion. Near the end of the story, when Farquhar is nearing his home in his imagination, “the black bodies of trees formed a straight wall on both sides, terminating on the horizon on a point, like a diagram in a lesson in perspective” (Bierce). This parallels directly to his reality, where he is drawing closer and closer to his death. Farquhar’s thoughts become darker and violent as his life is closing in on him. This paranoia created by his mind illustrates the immense feeling of pain that was being felt physically while he is starting to die, and he was slowly losing feeling and direct thoughts because he is losing himself and losing a grasp of his world and what he loves the most- which is his

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