Premium Essay

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

In: Novels

Submitted By suselby
Words 1405
Pages 6
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

1.
The story begins with an exposition in an authorial narrative situation. An authorial narrator can be identified by special characteristics.
The authorial narrator is situated outside the world of the characters and hovers over the events of the story as an invisible omniscient observer. He can make interjections and comments on the events. Such interjections and comments can be found in the text.
An example for an interjection can be found in the following sentence at the end of Part I - ‘As these thoughts, which have here to be set down in words, were flashed […]’ - or at the beginning of Part II - ‘Circumstances of an imperious nature, which it is unnecessary to relate here, had prevented him from […]’
The last sentence of the second paragraph of Part I is a comment of the authorial narrator. ‘Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect […]’
Another characteristic of an authorial narrator is territorial and temporal omnipresence. The narrator can be present in all places were characters are alone and he can jump in time.
An example for the territorial omnipresence is when the gray-clad soldier who visited the protagonist Peyton Farquhar at his house repasses the Farquhar´s house one hour after he rode away. In this situation the soldier is alone.
This event happens in a flashback in Part II which is an indicator for the temporal omnipresence of the authorial narrator because he jumps in time.
In my opinion the authorial narrator recedes during the story into the background and in Part III is replaced by a figural narrative situation. Now the narrated world is presented from Peyton Farquhar’s point of view. Narrative transmission is almost invisible in this part. Farquhar functions now as the centre of orientation. The reader gets a clear insight into...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

...Trenton Day Mrs. Barber English 11-5 21 March 2013 Critical Analysis The Occurrence “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” has been read by any and every story critic in the nation. This short story by Ambrose Bierce has been read for over one hundred and twenty years. Bitter Bierce creates a very unsatisfying ending through the story for the reader through a unique plot structure, an intriguing setting, a common point of view, and a terrible sense of irony. The plot structure is a very weird way to tell a story. The story begins with a man ready to be hung for treason. One immediately sees that the conflict is going to be a man vs. man plot. He also learns what the scene looks like. A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man's hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck. It was attached to a stout cross-timber above his head and the slack fell to the level of his knees. Some loose boards laid upon the ties supporting the rails of the railway supplied a footing for him and his executioners—two private soldiers of the Federal army, directed by a sergeant who in civil life may have been a deputy sheriff. At a short remove upon the same temporary platform was an officer in the uniform of his rank, armed. He was a captain. A sentinel at each end of the bridge stood with his rifle in the position known as "support," that is to say, vertical in front of...

Words: 1023 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge Summary

...An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Ambrose Bierce A man and his executioners stand on a railroad bridge in Alabama. The Civil War has begun and military justice is about to be served; the only spectators are a handful of soldiers. The man to be executed is a civilian dressed in the clothes of a plantation owner, and his executioners are Union soldiers. As he waits for his executioners to start, the man looks down at the water below him and imagines ways he could escape home to his wife and children. With a nod of the captain's head, the hanging begins. Part 2 introduces Peyton Farquhar, a wealthy Alabamian slave owner. Farquhar is not in the army because of personality issues, but he is determined to support the Confederate cause. An opportunity appears when a soldier dressed in a gray Confederate uniform rides up to his house. The soldier tells him that Union troops are repairing railroads in the surrounding area and have recently rebuilt the nearby bridge over Owl Creek. Apparently the chief has issued an order saying that any civilian caught tampering with the railroad will be hanged. The soldier leaves after informing Farquhar that a pile of flammable timber was piled up near the bridge. An hour later, the soldier rides past the Farquhar residence heading north. It turns out that he is actually a Union scout. Part 3 begins with Farquhar falling through the bridge. Unable to think wisely, he feels himself freeing his hands from their bindings, removing the noose......

Words: 661 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Time for a Hanging

...English Composition II 8 February 2016 Time for a Hanging The Civil War was a time of immense turmoil and bloodshed throughout a great majority of the United States. In the short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” the author, Ambrose Bierce focuses on one specific part of this war. The story’s main character, a southern man by the name of Peyton Farquhar, who is caught tarnishing with a bridge and then is sentenced to be hanged from that very bridge. Bierce uses immense detail and the story is written so well that it seems to play with the minds of its readers. Present becomes the past and reality is nowhere near the reality that it seemed to be. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is suspenseful due to the effectiveness of the setting, the use of flashbacks, and the use of Peyton’s senses to successfully deceive the reader. At the start of the story, Bierce puts the reader into a scene of anxiousness as he presents a very detailed hanging that is about to occur at the bridge. The setting provides a major part of suspense in the story and Bierce successfully goes into detail about the bridge and the surrounding area. He uses Peyton’s senses to observe and describe the setting which makes the reader feel more embedded into the story. For example, “He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children. The water, touched to gold by the early sun, the brooding mists under the banks at some distance down the stream, the fort, the soldiers,...

Words: 998 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Abandonment in Death of a Salesman

...Unit: Realism and Naturalism Name: Chayse French Literature: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Section: 07 Date: Nov. 13, 2014 Directions: Fill in the left column with a quotation or fact from the reading you like or found interesting. In the center column, discuss what we can infer about the fact. In the right column thoughtfully explain the significance or importance of the fact and inference within the story. Demonstrate your understanding of the reading selection. Fact/Quote Inference/Meaning Significance in the story |“Sample Quotation” |What does it mean? |Why is it important? | | | | | |An important fact from the |What can we infer? |What impact does it (the fact) have on the story and the | |reading. | |story’s outcome? | | |What does it reveal? | | |(Write responses in complete | |Why did the author choose to include that fact into the | |sentences.) |(Do not simply restate the fact in |story? ...

Words: 557 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Owl Creek Bridge

...An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge The time compression and surrealistic details from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge captures the reader attention and imagination so much that the story becomes plausible. For instance, The author writes, “ the water roared in his ear like the Niagara,” to make the reader imagine what is taking place, hence making the reader believe what is going on in the story (Bierce 86). We sometimes wish that we could control time, rewind, fast-forward, pause, and play, if only we had such capabilities, then we could change the outcome of the situations that we caused for the better. Time does not change; however, time is the measurement of events whether it’s past, present or future. Usually, we have a concept of how much time an activity should take to accomplish, such as going for a walk or getting ready in the morning before going to work. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge uses time compression when describing Farquhar’s escape, yet we don’t realize this is happening until the end of the story, thanks to a vivid description of Farquhar actions, the way the author describes him as he comes up from under the water gasping for air, or a description of the setting and how desolate the place is while traveling that “not even a barking dog was there to show human habitation” (Bierce 86). Farquhar closes his eyes to slip into his own reality, a reality where nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible with this in mind, Farquhar’s imagination...

Words: 600 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Eng202

...TUI University MODULE 1: Case Study ENG102 English Composition 2 Dr. Mike Frangos 12 October 2013 "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," by Ambrose Bierce, was set during the Civil War in Alabama.   This gave me an insight to life during the war and what happens to people if they take sides.   The author chronicled the experience of a southern secessionist identified as Peyton Farquhar, who was condemned to death by hanging from Owl Creek Bridge.   Bierce's sequence of writing goes from the present time then to a flashback, an imagined present or fantasy, then back to the present again. The story began with an unidentified man being prepared to be hanged by a company of Union soldiers on a railroad bridge that runs over a river.   His hands were behind his back, his wrists were in cords, and there was a rope around his neck.   He and a couple of soldiers were the only people on the bridge.   After all of the essential preparations, the two soldiers stepped aside and were ready to perform their duties.   And then the author transferred the reality to the main character’s thoughts, having the reader view Peyton’s thoughts also as reality.   “He looked a moment at his "unsteadfast footing," then let his gaze wander to the swirling water of the stream racing madly beneath his feet."    Peyton Farquhar grew up as a rich southerner. He had everything that a man could ever want at that point in time: a wife, children, land and slaves. However, he......

Words: 801 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Jhjhvjhv

...Bierce’s Fantasy Parading as Realism Bierces’ short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, tells the story of a gentleman named Peyton who has been captured by federal troops. The story has many unrealistic aspects to make it seem like peyton is making his escape, but it is the use of the realistic aspects that really fools the reader. Bierce uses realistic details by fully describing the scenery, the soldiers, and what Peyton looks like. The story starts by stating that the railroad bridge is in Alabama and it is directly above “swift waters” below (Bierce 318). Bierce goes on to explain that past this bridge the “railroad ran straight away into a forest for hundreds of yards” and that the other bank of the stream was “crowned with a stockade of vertical tree trunks, loopholed for rifles, with a single embrasure through which protruded the muzzle of a brass canon commanding the bridge” (318). The story then goes into detail about how the infantry line is set up. The ends of the riffles are on the ground, the barrels are “inclining slightly backward” against their shoulders, and their hands are “crossed around the stock” (318). The story then goes on to describe Peyton, as he is standing on the plank. He is described as a thirty five year old civilian with a “straight nose, firm mouth, and broad forehead” (318). He also had a mustache and a “pointed beard with no whiskers (318). By going into such great detail about the scenery and the people, Bierce is able to......

Words: 356 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Bravery

...Bravery You're walking down the street, coming home from school, and all of a sudden you hear a shrill voice calling "Help! Help!" You run toward the voice and when you run about a block up the street you smell smoke. You look up and see a house totally engulfed in flames. You see a woman on the lawn of the burning building crying, "Help! Help! My baby's inside!" "Inside the burning building?" you ask. The woman nods her head up and down. You tell her not to worry, that you'll save her baby. You run inside. Heat surrounds you. Your eyes sting and you can hardly breathe with all of the smoke, but you keep progressing because you know that you've got to save that baby. You make your way up the stairs, flames jumping at you from everywhere. You hear a young, high-pitched voice crying. You look around and see the baby to your right in a play pen crying its heart out. You grab the baby and you're about to walk downstairs when you see that the entrance to the stairway is blocked by a wall of flame. You run away from the stairs and search for another way out. You realize that you'll have to jump out a window. You eventually find one. You're hesitant, but you think that a two story fall shouldn't be too bad. Besides, you've got to get the baby and yourself out of this burning inferno. You take a running start and leap out of the window. When you land, the wind is knocked out of you. As you get up, a news van that came to film the fire decides they should get the......

Words: 2842 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

Dialogue Journal #2

...Course Number and Title: American Literature 1 Number of Credits: 3 Instructor Name: Sos Bagramyan Email Address: sbagramyan@aua.am Telephone Number: 51 27 69 Office Location: Paramaz Avedisian Building, 132W Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 8am-9am Term/Year: Spring 2015 ENGL 120 – American Literature 1 This survey course introduces students to American literature from the beginning of European contact to the present, focusing on major authors and different literary genres. It examines the historical influences on the evolution of this body of literature and the construction of a distinct and complex American identity. Through close reading, class discussion and their own research and writing, students will explore how themes such as gender, race, class, spirituality, economics, and the environment play a role in the formation and evolution of the American experience Three hours of instructor-led class time per week. Required Materials: All readings are located in PDF format on our course’s Moodle page. Academic Integrity: All graded assignments must completed individually. Plagiarism is a serious offense, and any attempt to pass off another person's ideas and writings as your own will result in severe disciplinary measures, possibly expulsion from the university. This also applies to your Informal Responses, which should reflect your own understanding of the material and not simply repeat what I or your classmates have already said. Students are......

Words: 1348 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Short Stories

...Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” Goodman Brown was not asleep in this short story. As I read, I believed that Goodman did indeed meet the devil in the forest. If he had indeed dreamt about the trip he was sent on and meeting the devil, I think his nervousness would have been described in more detail then it was. Concentrating more on the anxiety he was feeling would have led the reader to believe that the events were not real. I also saw this story as an allegory. I saw the allegory after reading the story two times. I think it is centered on Goodman Brown having a bumpy past and that he wants to go beyond his past and reach heaven. The characters names also show the religious allegory in the story. The names Goodman and Faith are used and the characters are then soon faced with terrifying evil. I think that Goodman Brown and his wife, Faith’s names symbolize that they are good, religious people and that Goodman is making up everyone being evil in his head. I found an essay by Alexa Carlson that described the symbolism in light vs. dark, forest vs. town, nature vs. human, and fantasy vs. reality. In her paper, Essay #1: Young Goodman Brown, she states that “…fantasy vs. reality are employed to reinforce the idea that good and evil have been set up as strict categories into which no one, not even the religious figures of the community, fit neatly.” As she later writes, if Hawthorne was apprehensive about “what he considers right and wrong in terms of human behavior,......

Words: 4886 - Pages: 20

Free Essay

Apalachountains

...Must one argue that America was built on the values of freedom? If this is true, which history has already proven it is, then why are we stripping the rights of our youth by requiring them to participate in mandatory volunteering? Before one can even begin to answer this they must also ask what is volunteering? In short it is offering to do something “freely”. Schools should not force our students to participate in volunteering, because they are inevitably causing the youth to be rebellious and devaluing the appreciation for true volunteering. While volunteering may be a seemingly good thing, mandatory volunteering causes young adolescents to rebel against community service and volunteer work. According to the Cognitive Evaluation Theory study, people tend to resist and lose interest in what is being asked of them when they feel they are being controlled by an outside source because of the human nature of individualism(Pearce 1).This is already seen in other school situations, such as with homework. Many children will often refuse to do rudimentary or simple homework assignments. Throughout history, volunteering has evolved into a cultural connection; a common characteristic of humans on a local, national, and global level is the desire to help one another. Although this statement is not necessarily true for every individual, most people feel an urgency to assist friends, family members, coworkers, and/or strangers in need or in crisis. Why should we volunteer? Many people...

Words: 7296 - Pages: 30

Free Essay

Worl Analogy

...501 Word Analogy Questions 501 Word Analogy Questions ® N E W YO R K Copyright © 2002 LearningExpress, LLC. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by LearningExpress, LLC, New York. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: 501 word analogy questions / LearningExpress.—1st ed. p. cm. ISBN 1-57685-422-1 1. English language—Synonyms and antonyms—Problems, exercises, etc. 2. Vocabulary—Problems, exercises, etc. I. LearningExpress (Organization) PE1591 .A24 2002 428.1'076—dc21 2002006843 Printed in the United States of America 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 First Edition ISBN 1-57685-422-1 For more information or to place an order, contact LearningExpress at: 55 Broadway 8th Floor New York, NY 10006 Or visit us at: www.learnatest.com The LearningExpress Skill Builder in Focus Writing Team is comprised of experts in test preparation, as well as educators and teachers who specialize in language arts and math. LearningExpress Skill Builder in Focus Writing Team Brigit Dermott Freelance Writer English Tutor, New York Cares New York, New York Sandy Gade Project Editor LearningExpress New York, New York Kerry McLean Project Editor Math Tutor Shirley, New York William Recco Middle School Math Teacher, Grade 8 Shoreham/Wading River School District Math Tutor St. James, New York Colleen Schultz Middle School Math Teacher, Grade 8 Vestal Central School......

Words: 17361 - Pages: 70

Free Essay

English Patient

...1 In memory of Skip and Mary Dickinson For Quintin and Griffin And for Louise Dennys, with thanks ‘Most of you, I am sure, remember the tragic circumstances of the death of Geoffrey Clifton at Gilf Kebir, followed later by the disappearance of his wife, Katharine Clifton, which took place during the 1939 desert expedition in search of Zerzura. “I cannot begin this meeting tonight without referring very sympathetically to those tragic occurrences. “The lecture this evening ...” From the minutes of the Geographical Society meeting of November 194-, London I The Villa SHE STANDS UP in the garden where she has been working and looks into the distance. She has sensed a shift in the weather. There is another gust of wind, a buckle of noise in the air, and the tall cypresses sway. She turns and moves uphill towards the house, climbing over a low wall, feeling the first drops of rain on her bare arms. She crosses the loggia and quickly enters the house. In the kitchen she doesn’t pause but goes through it and climbs the stairs which are in darkness and then continues along the long hall, at the end of which is a wedge of light from an open door. She turns into the room which is another garden—this one made up of trees and bowers painted over its walls and ceiling. The man lies on the bed, his body exposed to the breeze, and he turns his head slowly towards her as she enters. Every four days she washes his black body, beginning at the destroyed feet. She wets a......

Words: 83532 - Pages: 335

Premium Essay

Media - Advantages and Disadvantages

...How To Stop Worrying And Start Living By Dale Carnegie Courtesy: Shahid Riaz Islamabad – Pakistan shahid.riaz@gmail.com http://esnips.com/UserProfileAction.ns?id=ebdaae62-b650-4f30-99a4-376c0a084226 “How To Stop Worrying And Start Living” By Dale Carnegie 2 Contents Sixteen Ways in Which This Book Will Help You Preface - How This Book Was Written-and Why Part One - Fundamental Facts You Should Know About Worry 1 - Live in "Day-tight Compartments" 2 - A Magic Formula for Solving Worry Situations 3 - What Worry May Do to You Part Two - Basic Techniques In Analysing Worry 4 - How to Analyse and Solve Worry Problems 5 - How to Eliminate Fifty Per Cent of Your Business Worries Nine Suggestions on How to Get the Most Out of This Book Part Three - How To Break The Worry Habit Before It Breaks You 6 - How to Crowd Worry out of Your Mind 7 - Don't Let the Beetles Get You Down 8 - A Law That Will Outlaw Many of Your Worries 9 - Co-operate with the Inevitable 10 - Put a "Stop-Loss" Order on Your Worries 11 - Don't Try to Saw Sawdust Part Four - Seven Ways To Cultivate A Mental Attitude That Will Bring You Peace And Happiness 12 - Eight Words that Can Transform Your Life 13 - The High, Cost of Getting Even 14 - If You Do This, You Will Never Worry About Ingratitude 15 - Would You Take a Million Dollars for What You Have? 16 - Find Yourself and Be Yourself: Remember There Is No One Else on Earth Like You 17 - If You Have a Lemon, Make a Lemonade 18 - How to Cure Melancholy......

Words: 115134 - Pages: 461

Free Essay

Fiction

...PROLOGUE Fortress of the Light Pedron Niall's aged gaze wandered about his private audience chamber, but dark eyes hazed with thought saw nothing. Tattered wall hangings, once battle banners of the enemies of his youth, faded into dark wood paneling laid over stone walls, thick even here in the heart of the Fortress of the Light. The single chair in the room heavy, high-backed, and almost a throne - was as invisible to him as the few scattered tables that completed the furnishings. Even the white-cloaked man kneeling with barely restrained eagerness on the great sunburst set in the wide planks of the floor had vanished from Niall's mind for the moment, though few would have dismissed him so lightly. Jaret Byar had been given time to wash before being brought to Niall, but both his helmet and his breastplate were dulled from travel and battered from use. Dark, deep-set eyes shone with a feverish, urgent light in a face that seemed to have had every spare scrap of flesh boiled away. He wore no sword - none was allowed in Niall's presence - but he seemed poised on the edge of violence, like a hound awaiting the loosing of the leash. Twin fires on long hearths at either end of the room held off the late winter cold. It was a plain, soldier's room, really, everything well made but nothing extravagant except for the sunburst. Furnishings came to the audience chamber of the Lord Captain Commander of the Children of the Light with the man who rose to the......

Words: 244946 - Pages: 980