In "The Occurrence of Owl Creek Bridge", how does Bierce espress his view on militaries and wars?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is rather an unusual question because I am not actually sure that Bierce wrote this story expressly to state his view about war and soldiers. Certainly this no-punches-pulled story is set in the Deep South during the Civil War, and yet it seems to me that the horrors of war serve as only an external setting for the landscape that really interests the writer. That landscape is the inside of the mind of a man condemned to death.

Peyton Farquhar's illusion of escape and freedom implies that the terror of death heightens the senses, distorts perceptions of time, and creates fantasies of escape. It is this that is so excellently explored in this short story, rather than a particular view on war. Therefore I am afraid that the focus of your question was wrong - clearly Bierce like many other authors was keen to focus on the damage done to ordinary lives, like Farquhar's, through the horrors of war, and yet this story has a somewhat more specialised scope as it focusses in on the last precious seconds of a man's life and what can happen internally to him.

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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

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