Are there any symbols in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce?
Owl Creek is symbolically significant throughout the story. As Peyton Fahrquhar stands on the beam of the bridge waiting to be hanged, he looks down into the moving water as a piece of driftwood freely floats down the creek. The flowing creek acts as a boundary separating two land masses and can be symbolically representative of separating two spiritual, imaginary realms. In Greek mythology, the River Styx formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld. In the short story, Owl Creek symbolically represents Fahrquhar's transition from reality to the world of imagination as he dreams of escaping death and swimming home.
The owl is also symbolic in the story and foreshadows Peyton Fahrquhar's death. According to Greek mythology, owls were associated with wisdom, prophecy, and mystery. Since owls are nocturnal birds that inhabit dark, lonely places, they were once believed to be ominous portents. The name of the creek and the creek itself both serve as symbols of Peyton...
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