The Literary COMPONENTS OF Ambrose Bierce British Literature Essay

"An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge, " by Ambrose Bierce describes a troubling image of a hero, Peyton Farquhar, being hanged as a result of the Federal Army. Bierce utilizes multiple literary elements to help identify this scenario and the "break free" which comes after. Of particular importance to the storyplot are the elements of blending actuality with dream, the underlying topics of the story, and the use of time to assist in misleading the audience.

The author incorporates the poetic writing style when discovering with Farquhar. In paragraph 4, the author changes his writing style to point the narrator is currently within Farquhar and his illusion of the world. As Farquhar stands on the plank, awaiting his execution, he observes, "Water, handled to gold by the early sunlight, the brooding mists under the bankers at some distance (72, paragraph 5)" Bierce continues to use his mixing technique as he descriptively relates the moments after Farquhar falls into the normal water. Bierce describes getting rid of the noose, although his hands are tied, and preventing drowning while being shot at from above, as well as cannons below (Samide 2). The inconsistencies in the story are a hint of the fantasy blended with the reality of the storyplot. This lyrical, poetic design of writing gives a hint to the understanding of this man who's living his last moments of life in an environment of fantasy.

Bierce persists his poetic writing style in Part Two. This part deals with Farquhar's record. Part Two points out Farquhar's dream and the charming ideas of a guy. Farquhar has his world of dream in to the world of warfare along with his unrealistic views of the conflict. "Though a civilian, Farquhar considers himself a soldier, though his tendencies differs radically from that of the real military of Part One. He assents to the cliche that 'all is fair in love and battle, ' and he therefore ironically seals his own doom (Barrett 70). Farquhar, although residing in an environment of fantasy in his mind's eye, is required into reality when he finds himself sitting on a bridge moments from his own loss of life.

In contrast to the poetic style, Bierce selects a more mechanised style when authoring the warfare and the planning of the dangling. The storyline actually reads as if it is compiled by two different writers. As the storyplot opens, Bierce details the scene occurring on the Owl Creek Bridge, more specifically, the prep of the dangling. His sentence structure is "matter-of-fact fashion: the phrases are loose alternatively that periodic; brief somewhat than long; and a bit choppy rather than coherent" (Barrett 69). This matter-of-fact firmness can be easily observed in the starting paragraph, "The man's hands were behind his backside, the wrists destined with a cable. A rope strongly encircled his neck of the guitar (71, paragraph 1). " Bierce uses this writing style to further detail his approach of blending fantasy with fiction.

Another area Bierce uses mixing is when talking about Farquhar escape from the noose around his neck. To demonstrate the depth, Bierce again uses the poetic writing style he found in Part One. While reading this part, the audience can see from Farquhar's eyes and his understanding of what is occurring around him. The thorough visions Bierce offers makes it seem magical. Bierce writes, the aches become, "streams of pulsating hearth, " and the noose becomes a "drinking water snake. " This lyrical, poetic style is within sharp compare to the earlier mechanical style in which the story commences. As seen through Farquhar's eye, the earth is a magical, fantasy world.

The final & most dramatic example of blending dream with reality is the stopping of the story. Farquhar's break free is given in brilliant fine detail. The poetic information of the get away from should hint the reader that the events developing are those of Farquhar illusion world and aren't actually happening. The get away allows him to dodge death three times - dangling, drowning, and filming. As in depth and interesting as this section of the story is, the audience is abruptly returned to reality when the writer results to the bridge and succinctly states that, in fact, Farquhar is useless and his body hangs from the rope. The complete escape, poetic as it was, was just more of Farquhar's dream world and "the reality, not the dreams, have the last word" (Barrett 72).

Bierce shows two major designs within "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. " The first, & most widely realized, is the individuals need to escape death. Occasions before Farquhar is to be hanged, he deludes himself into thinking that they can escape death. Just prior to the actual hanging, Farquhar begins to think about his better half and kids and actually closes his eyes to raised enjoy this picture. Farquhar proceeds along this dream line and actually envisions himself as escaping death and coming back home to his beautiful wife. The necessity to escape fatality, although a fantasy in the story, is an extremely real need experienced by most humans.

Another theme Bierce uses is that of self-delusion. Bierce identifies Farquhar as, "a student of clinging" which implies the likelihood that death can be cheated by a man who comprehends the mechanics of the gallows (Habibi 1). Bierce allows the audience to think that Farquhar escapes from loss of life and helps it be back. "He seduces the reader into believing in the "reality" of Farquhar's get away from and simultaneously leaves the audience all the clues needed to know that the get away from is unreal (Barrett 69). " Farquhar deludes himself into thinking that he has escaped fatality. While his hung body swings for a quarter of one hour, he uses this chance to employ a illusion where in fact the rope breaks, he escapes fatality, and matches up with his beautiful better half. In deluding himself, he makes it appear like escaping loss of life can happen as easy as a rope snapping. Many can delude themselves into thinking that fatality is escapable, however loss of life is an action that can not be aspect stepped, and Bierce is employing this story to demonstrate that death can be an inescapable part of life.

Although delusion is one theme found within the storyplot, Bierce uses signs for the audience to hint that the escape was, in fact, a illusion of Farquhar rather than a part of reality. A number of the clues can be seen in the next to last paragraph. When Farquhar is walking home he seems pain from what he believes is walking from so long, but in actuality it is from the hanging. Bierce's information of Farquhar as using a "swollen throat, " "congested" eyes, and swollen tongue are hints that Farquhar was, in truth, hung and he is starting to feel the pain from the rope and the effects of the suspending (Barrett 72). Bierce goes on to describe "the sense of strangulation, the sound of the cannon, and the pendulum motion" which represent the actual "strangulation, breaking neck of the guitar, " and movements of the body following the dangling, respectively (Stoicheff 353). These hints help the reader get away from from self-delusion and realize the truth of the situation. Bierce is able to include the theme of self-delusion by implementing a young man's fantasy to flee death in to the simple fact of the harsh world of conflict.

In many situations time is in accordance with the activity where one is participating. Don Habibi effectively states, "purpose time provides way to a radically subjective slower time" when describing the "occurrence" which takes place within the storyline (Habibi 1). Bierce uses the main element factor of distention of your energy to eloquently express the occasions as they happen. As noted partly One of the tale, time and action slow down as Farquhar prepares for his hanging. Bierce explains the stream as "swift" but as loss of life draws nearer for Farquhar, the stream becomes "sluggish" (Habibi 1). Bierce uses this slow down to emphasize that point, although objectively may well not be able to slow, from a subjective standpoint, it can appear almost stagnant as death draws near. The beating of metallic in the faraway and the slow movement of this inflatable water are examples of how Farquhar hears and views everything more slowly and gradually. Stoicheff further elaborates on Bierce's use of energy when he writes

Though enough time it requires for Farquhar to perish by dangling is intermediate, Bierce goes to some size to imply at the unknowable threshold of loss of life itself, time becomes crucially changed and even paradoxical, resistant to commonplace reciprocities of experience and duration (351).

Bierce shows that the situations around the clinging slow-moving monumentally from Farquhar's viewpoint. Bierce efficiently uses time to portray Farquhar innermost emotions and senses as fatality draws better.

Many authors commonly utilize flashback as a narrative strategy; however Bierce is apparently one of the first to utilize the display forward technique in a tale of fiction. Bierce shows this system as Farquhar comes from the bridge. The story flashes ahead to find Farquhar escaping from the noose and in to the water beneath him. Farquhar can swim away to protection, dodge bullets, and make the long trip home to his beautiful better half. Bierce descriptively portrays Farquhar escaping; when the truth is, he actually dies within a "quarter of an hour" and the harrowing get away from and trek home was a illusion that Farquhar creates in an attempt to escape fatality. Bierce is apparently the first publisher to employs the "flash-forward" approach and is acknowledged with this literary strategy (Habibi 1).

By correctly using multiple literary elements, Ambrose Bierce can complete a work of fiction that allures many viewers with differing backgrounds. The author can blend a illusion of escape in to the harsh certainty of the world to assure a dying man dies within his life of illusion. Bierce also allows the reader to notice that although there is no factual escape from death, the mind will allow a self-delusional get away from to get this to inevitable event a more favorable occurrence. And lastly, through his signature approach of flash-forward, Bierce is able to use the distention of your energy to demonstrate the gamut of emotions a dying man may experience. Although "The Incident at Owl Creek Bridge, " is an entertaining literary good article, the underlying message it portrays is on a much deeper, somber level.

Work Cited

Barrett, Gerald R. , and Thomas L. Erskine. "Language and Theme in 'An Event at Owl

Creek Bridge'. " From Fiction to Film: Ambrose Bierce's "An Incident at Owl Creek

Bridge, " pp. 69-75. Books Resources from Gale. Web. 9 Apr. 2010.

Bierce, Ambrose. "An Event at Owl Creek Bridge. " Books: An Launch to Reading

and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts. 9th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2009. 71-76.

Parenthetical page quantities to "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" make reference to pages in

this reserve.

Habibi, Don Asher. "The Experience of an eternity: philosophical reflections on a narrative device

of Ambrose Bierce. " Studies in the Humanities 29. 2 (2002): 1-7. Books Resources

from Gale. Web. 11 Apr. 2010.

Samide, Daniel E. "Anatomy of any classic: Ambrose Bierce cleverly used some key literary tools

in crafting his Civil Battle tale 'An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge'. " The Article writer May

2005:1-3. Books Resources from Gale. Web. 9 Apr. 2010.

Stoicheff, Peter. "'Something Uncanny': The Desire Composition in Ambrose Bierce's 'An

Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge'. " Studies in Short Fiction 30, no. 3 (warmer summer months 1993)

349-57. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 9 Apr. 2010.

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