An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge By Ralph Tor

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge By Ralph Tortis “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is a powerful story. The author, Ambrose Bierce, has a unique style to pull the reader into the story. Bierce uses illusions to allow the reader to follow wherever his ideas lead. An illusion is an unreal or misleading image presented to the vision, a deceived envision. Bierce’s brilliant ability of describing surroundings, feelings, and thoughts draws the reader into the story. Bierce uses detailed descriptions in his examples of illusion. His description of Peyton Farquhar: ” His features were good – straight nose, firm mouth, broad forehead, from which his long dark hair was combed straight back, falling behind his ears to the collar of his well-fitted frock coat”.(Bierce81) His purpose was for the mind to emphasize feelings more toward the condemned man. Bierce enhances the story with descriptions of minor thoughts. “A piece of dancing drift wood caught his attention and his eyes followed it down the current. How slow it appeared to move! What a sluggish stream!” (Bierce 82). This allows the reader to be inside the thoughts of Peyton. Bierce confuses the reader, so he/she is not sure if the man is hung or if he actually escapes. The ending of the story was dramatically enhanced. Bierce explains the entire story in the last few lines. “As he is about to clasp her, he feels a stunning blow upon the back of his neck; a blinding white light blazes all about him, with a sound like the shock of a cannon – then all is darkness and silence!” (Bierce 87) The sudden ending illustrates a dramatic irony. Bierce had total control of the reader’s perception. He made the reader feel the deepest thoughts of Peyton Farquhar. At the beginning the reader feels that Peyton died, yet suddenly Bierce gives a vision of life. The dream of escape seemed like reality for most of the story. The detailed description how Peyton broke free f…

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