What is significant about Mrs. Farquhar, the Union Soldiers and the Union Scout in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce?Any info is helpful.

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mrs. Farquhar: Although Bierce does not provide much information about the protagonist's wife, he does hint that Mrs. Farquhar is a typical Southern aristocratic woman.  When the scout arrives at the Farquhar plantation, Mrs. Farquhar--thinking that he is for the Southern cause--happily offers to get him a drink and serve with from her "white hands." Bierce's use of "white" and "happy" demonstrates that normally Mrs. Farquhar was used to being waited on, but that she is thrilled to "serve" someone who stands for her and her husband's sympathies.  In regards to her relationship with her husband, Bierce makes it clear that Peyton loves and is protective of his wife.  She is the first person he thinks about as he is about to be executed, and he considers what will happen to her and his "little ones" if he is killed.

The Scout--The scout is obviously cunning.  He is able to convince a native Southerner that he is also from the South and sympathetic to the same cause as Peyton.  He also seems to be very dedicated to his own the Union cause because he demonstrates no empathy or emotion for Peyton as he is about to be hanged.

The Union Soldiers--The soldiers are businesslike and do not show mercy to Peyton even though he was not successful in blowing up the bridge and even though he has a wife and small children.  Perhaps they believe that they would meet the same fate if they were captured trying to sabotage the Confederate cause, and therefore, view their task as a natural part of war.  Bierce wrote several stories which deal with the hardship of war (he was a decorated Civil War veteran himself) because he sought to show fairly how both sides who were involved in the war suffered.

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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

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