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Time for a Hanging

In: English and Literature

Submitted By NickWags
Words 998
Pages 4
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, the piece of drift--all had distracted him.” the strong use of imagery sets the gloomy mood of death in such a beautiful scene.
We learn little about Peyton in the introduction of the story besides the fact that he is a thirty-five year old southern man who seems to have got himself into a predicament that he will not be able to escape from. However, we do learn Peyton had attempted to tarnish...

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