An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Questions and Answers
by Ambrose Bierce

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In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce, what is the attitude of the soldiers toward the hanging?

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Ambrose Bierce depicts the somber, dignified attitude of the soldiers toward the hanging of Peyton Farquhar from the Owl Creek Bridge. The soldiers' formal, solemn positions and stately manner correspond to the seriousness of their business upon the bridge. Each sentinel at the end of the bridge is described as standing in a "support" position, which is a "formal and unnatural" stance, as they wait for Peyton Farquhar to be hanged. Bierce writes, "It did not appear to be the duty of these two men to know what was occurring at the center of the bridge," as they stand in a formal, dignified manner (1).

The other soldiers facing the bridge are then described as standing "stonily," and Bierce compares them to statues adorning the bridge. The captain is portrayed as standing with his arms folded in a silent demeanor as he watches his subordinates at work. Bierce continues to describe the formal, ceremonial setting of the...

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