Did Peyton Farquhar’s act of daring seem brave or foolish after you had finished the story?

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Peyton Farquhar's unilateral attempt to destroy Owl Creek Bridge seemed both brave and foolish to me. After all, he was a civilian and didn't have much information, if any, about the positions of Union troops. He walked into a trap which a more experienced agent would have avoided. He may have felt guilty because he wasn't serving in the Confederate Army and wanted to do something to help the cause. No doubt there were many instances of such guerrilla actions among Southerners during the Civil War. What happened to him after the hanging was underway occurred purely in his imagination. It was wishful thinking. In his imagination he displayed bravery and resourcefulness. As a reader--at least as a first-time reader of Ambrose Bierce's chilling short story--I was sharing Farquhar's thoughts and feelings, hoping he would get away. During that part of the story I felt he was totally brave and not at all foolish. I thought that he himself must have felt that he had made a foolish mistake in trying to fight the Yankees single-handed and that he had been extremely lucky to escape with his life--until the shocking end!

mylife92 | Student


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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

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