An Occurence At Owl Creek Bridge... Comment on the quote... "Evidently this was no vulgar assassin. The liberal military code makes provision for hanging many kinds of persons, and gentlemen are...

An Occurence At Owl Creek Bridge... Comment on the quote... "Evidently this was no vulgar assassin. The liberal military code makes provision for hang

ing many kinds of persons, and gentlemen are not excluded." What does it tell us about Bierce's view on the military? How does it contribute to the overall theme. Also, find if it relates to why the author keeps the identity of the man on the bridge secret until the second part of the story.

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

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To answer the second part of your question first, Bierce does not reveal the name of Peyton Farquar because he wants to build the reader's interest and add to the mystery of the situation.

The quote suggests that the average assassin is an immoral criminal, but Farquar is far from that. He is an honorable family man who has deliberately decided to serve his state (and the Confederacy) as a spy instead of advancing his military career; as a wealthy plantation owner, he would have probably been an officer with the chance for glory--a high priority for most Southern men of the time. Instead, he has been tricked, caught, tried and about to be hanged in ignominious fashion. He does not even rate a gallows or "any last words" before his execution. Bierce shows that military service is not glorious or glamorous. In this instance it is all business, and death is always close at hand.

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