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Why was Farquhar sentenced to be hanged in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek...

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cy1231 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 20, 2007 at 6:34 AM via web

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Why was Farquhar sentenced to be hanged in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"?

What exactly did he do?? I understand it's something about the bridge but what happened?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 20, 2007 at 6:39 AM (Answer #1)

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Farquhar is a loyal Southerner during the Civil War. He is tricked by a Union scout masquerading as a Confederate soldier into believing he could stop a Yankee advance into Southern territory by destroying the railroad bridge at Owl Creek.  When he attempts to do this, he is captured by the Union Army and sentenced to hang.  

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jeff-hauge | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted January 11, 2008 at 1:58 AM (Answer #2)

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Farquhar was unable to participate in the war for causes that Bierce does not explain. His lack of action, along with the trick of the Federal scout goad his pride into trying to burn the bridge before the Union Army can advance further. I believe the threat of being hanged for trying this provokes his pride further to try it. It would be his chance to lay his life on the line for the cause he believes in. The scout used pride as bait to lure out any meddling southern citizens.

Remember, this story is about how individuals interpret the The mind sees what it wants to. Of all the sensory input he contorts throughout the story it first starts with the scout. He believed that he was encountering a chance to prove his worth and dedication to the cause. Instead he is duped by a spy seeking to expose partisans.

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