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What point of view is used in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"?

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garcia911 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 24, 2007 at 8:36 AM via web

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What point of view is used in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"?

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted May 24, 2007 at 9:01 AM (Answer #1)

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You have two kinds of narration, first person and third person. In first person, a character in the story is telling it, giving the reader only his/her thoughts and feeling about the other characters and the events. Third person is when you have a narrator who is not a character in the story telling us the story. Third person can be limited or omniscient. Limited third person allows the reader to know the thoughts and feelings of one of the characters. Third person omniscient gives us the thoughts and feelings of more than one character, but not necessarily all of them. It can be as many characters as the author feels is necessary in order for the story to be told.

This celebrated short story is divided into 3 sections, with each one having its own narrative technique. In the first section, it is told from the third person point of view where the narrator is an objective outsider telling the story. It describes the setting of the execution. The second section is third person limited because it gives us some of Farquhar's thoughts and feelings. It provides us with the background information on the events leading up to Farquhar's hanging. The third section starts where the first one ended, back on the bridge when Farquhar falls into the water. Now the viewpoint becomes first person because the reader is told how Farquhar feels as he tries to escape and get back to his home thirty miles away. At the end of the third section, narration switches back to third person, telling us Farquhar is dead.

By switching the narrative technique of each section, Bierce creates confusion in the reader to reflect what the main character is feeling, allowing us to take part in his hallucinations.

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cy1231 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 20, 2007 at 6:46 AM (Answer #2)

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thirds person

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minibug11 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 5, 2007 at 6:59 AM (Answer #3)

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this short story is mix between two points of view;

third person dramatic: where it is just telling the facts and what is happening

third person limited omniscient: where it is telling the story from one character's perspective- only his thoughts

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