In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge' the story is divided into three sections. What are their differences and their separate functions in the story?
Ambrose Bierce divides his short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek” into three sections, which apply different points of view and levels of consciousness to the same event: the hanging of Peyton Farquhar.
In the first section, a removed third-person narrator describes a man being prepared for hanging. Specific details—who the man is, how he is being tied up, the set-up, the bridge, the surrounding environment and people—are presented as if by an onlooker observing the scene. The first two paragraphs appear like a long shot in a film, but by the third paragraph, readers gain a more close-up view of Farquhar, the condemned man. We see his features and “kindly expression.”
In the fourth paragraph, Bierce seems to zoom back out with a description of the mechanics of the hanging. Suddenly, readers see the river from Farquhar’s point of view. The final three paragraphs of part I bring readers into Farquhar’s head as last-minute thoughts of his wife, children, and possible escape...
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