Does the outcome of this story, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," read as credible and powerful, or does the surprise ending cheat the reader?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The suprise ending of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge does read as credible and powerful because the author Ambrose imbues the story with so much life through his use of vivid detail that he creates a suspension of disbelief, in which the reader willingly buys into the scenario created in his short story.  Ambrose draws the reader in with the dramatic opening of the scene on the bridge, literally creating a life or death situation.  The ending of the story returns, full circle, to his original scenario, completing the tale with a credible and realistic finality.