What is an example of local color in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce?  

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Local color refers to a type of regional writing with a focus on the specific features of the area. These features can include regional or local dialects; characters with mannerisms distinct to the area; historical references; social customs; and even the geographical peculiarities of the region. The narrator of the story is often a person native to the setting, and he often adds local color to the narrative. Themes also can also relate to the area of the setting as well.

Author Ambrose Bierce restrains himself from adding many examples of local color in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." The narration takes on an almost neutral tone, unlike a true narrative with local color. It is possible to imagine Farquar with a Southern accent, but there is an absence of colloquial expressions in his dialogue. Bierce does describe some of the topographical areas in this region of Alabama, and there is mention of the Civil War Battle of Corinth in addition to the local secessionist views held by most Southerners. The Union spy, pretending to be a Confederate soldier, refers to the Union soldiers as "Yanks," but there are really few other examples in the story.

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