In part one, what do readers learn about the condemned man?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The readers learns some key details about Peyton Farquhar in part one.  Unfortunately, you don't learn his name until part two.  I'll still refer to him by name though.  

You learn that Peyton is from northern Alabama, and you learn that he is about to be hanged.  A reader also learns that Peyton is not a soldier, because the text specifically mentions that he is a civilian.  His age is not given, but we are told that he is around thirty-five years old.  The description that is given of his face indicates that he is a fairly good looking man.  

His features were good—a straight nose, firm mouth, broad forehead, from which his long, dark hair was combed straight back, falling behind his ears to the collar of his well fitting frock coat.

That same paragraph tells the reader that Peyton is probably a "planter."  Based on his well fitting coat, and the setting of northern Alabama, it's a good guess to say that he is a southern plantation owner.  That would make him a southern gentleman, which the text confirms at the end of that paragraph.

The liberal military code makes provision for hanging many kinds of persons, and gentlemen are not excluded.

Peyton has large dark gray eyes and a well trimmed beard and mustache.  Lastly, the reader learns that Peyton is married and has at least two children.  

He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children.

Read the study guide:
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

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