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At the beginning of the story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," Peyton Farquhar is standing on a platform at Owl Creek Bridge. He has a rope around his neck and hands tied. The soldiers are about to kill him by dropping him off the bridge so that he dies by hanging from the timbers of the bridge. In the moment just before Farquhar's death, there is a sequence in which time slows down for Farquhar, and he has a long daydream about escaping from the noose and swimming away from the soldiers to return home. The dream sequence ends as Farquhar dies, hanging from the timbers of Owl Creek bridge.
Peyton Farquhar dies beneath the Owl Creek Bridge. He was captured and hanged for trying to sabotage and destroy the bridge so that that the Union army could not use it.
The story is great, and I love teaching it because the ending of it makes my students so mad. The majority of the story takes place between the moment when Peyton is falling down with the rope around his neck, and the moment that he dies. It's probably fractions of seconds. But to Peyton's mind, that is an eternity. He imagines the rope breaking and himself making a wonderful escape away from his Union captors. He even makes his way to his home and is hoping to see his wife. But before his imagination can put him inside of his home . . . the rope snaps taught and kills Peyton beneath the Owl Creek Bridge.
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