An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

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Peyton Farquhar dies soon after the end of section I but we only learn it at the end of section III. The end of Section III brings us back to the present, at the hanging. “ As he is about to clasp her he feels a stunning blow upon the back of the neck; a blinding white light blazes all about him with a sound like the shock of a cannon--then all is darkness and silence!”. At this very last moments, he cries out for his wife and we realize that he will never say goodbye to her. What really happened is that the rope did not break. Farquhar is dead, his neck is broken, and his body hangs beneath the bridge. The reader assumes the death of Peyton as he undoubtedly dies after the last sentence of section I. In the first section, Peyton Farquhar is standing on a railroad bridge prepared to be hanged. In the third section however by some miracle, the rope snaps as he falls into the water, and manages to escape from his executioners. Again he dies at the very end of section III even though in this part his escape seems realistic for the readers. Section III is narrated with a realistic timeline and description but it is in fact as we learn it at the end a daydream, an illusion provoked maybe by fear. Peyton Farquhar is tricked by the fear of death or even hope, triggered by “He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children” (section I, paragraph 5) or even the flashback of section II. Ambrose Bierce plays with the readers. The character slips into a daydream, and so begins the illusion. In his daydream, Farquhar Peyton has managed to fall into the stream over which he was being hanged, and tries to make his escape. The third section takes us into Farquhar’s interior life. With this shift, Bierce portrays both the character’s internal and external points of view. Bierce also has a unique understanding of the way time can be used in his

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