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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Plot Analysis
Andrew Kokanoutranon

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” Questions


1.  In Part 1, Bierce includes few details about the condemned man and does not reveal the reason why he is being hanged. How does this help create suspense?

Bierce creates suspense by not telling the readers the background information and how Farquhar got to where he was at in the beginning of the story.


2. In what ways are the condemned man’s perceptions of time and motion distorted as he is waiting to be hanged? Why are his distorted perceptions important?

Farquhar’s senses slow down and he seemed to be more aware of his surroundings, these changes are important because they help create suspense in the story.


3. What seems to be the narrator’s attitude toward Farquhar in Part II? What is the narrator’s attitude toward war?

The narrator’s attitude towards Farquhar in Part II was that he was a man that was not so bright, Farquhar thought he could become a solider without any training; war during that time was full of deception and was brutal.


4. Considering the outcome of the story, what is ironic or surprising about Farquhar’s longing for the “larger life of a soldier?” What is ironic about the fact that Farquhar agrees with the saying that “all is fair in love and war?”

Farquhar wanted to be a soldier but is too weak to fight; Farquhar also says that “all is fair in love and war,” which is ironic because he was caught by the Union army when he tried to help a Union soldier in disguise of a Confederate soldier. 


5. What details in Part III suggests that Farquhar’s journey occurs in his mind? How is the journey connected with the plan of escape that occurs to him moments before he is hanged?

Farquhar’s thoughts that occur in his mind are detailed depictions of the surroundings, he was thinking of escaping and the aftermath of escaping, while in reality he was a split second from dying.


6. Explain whether you think the portrayal of Farquhar’s final thoughts and sensations is realistic.

I don’t think the portrayal of Farquhar’s final thoughts were unrealistic because he wouldn’t be thinking of very fine details of the surroundings.


7. Point of view refers to the vantage point from which the story is told.  Why is the limited third-person point of view appropriate for this story? How might the story be different if Bierce had used an omniscient third-person narrator?

If the story was not told in third-person, then we would know right away with is   happening in the beginning of the story, we could see that Farquhar was being hung and we would never know what he was thinking.


8. How does Bierce’s use of flashback contribute to the effectiveness of the story?

Bierce’s use of flashback contribute to the effectiveness of the story by making the story seem longer than it really is, when in fact it is happening over the course of only a few seconds.