Can somebody explain how Bierce uses allegory, epiphany, and dramatic irony in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"?I don't understand this story at all. I am looking for some examples of allegory,...

Can somebody explain how Bierce uses allegory, epiphany, and dramatic irony in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"?

I don't understand this story at all. I am looking for some examples of allegory, epiphany, and dramatic irony in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge."

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

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DRAMATIC IRONY.  There are several examples. Peyton Farquar dreams of greater glory on the battlefield, rather than from the more "humble" duty of spying for the Confederacy. Farquar is deceived by the Southern soldier who is actually a Union spy. He is hung from the same bridge he is trying to burn.

EPIPHANY. (Definition from thefreedictionary.com: "A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization.") It is the reader who actually experiences the epiphany in this story, since we are led to believe that Peyton Farquar has survived his hanging, only to find out in the superbly crafted surprise ending that he is actually dead.

ALLEGORY.  (Definition: "The representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form.")  The story represents an allegorical form of writing, particularly in Farquar's final thoughts--the noose breaking, his escape, his return home--that are presented as reality.

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