An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Questions and Answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

During the Civil War, it was common practice to execute any enemy who was caught performing hostile action while out of uniform. This often applied to spies and saboteurs. Ambrose Bierce uses this...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2021, 1:12 pm (UTC)

8 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

An external conflict in the story is the Civil War, which is the backdrop that sets the plot in motion. The union army has penetrated into northern Alabama, where Peyton Farquhar has a plantation....

Latest answer posted August 11, 2021, 12:19 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

The story ends with the death of Farquhar. The ending comes as a shock, because readers are led to believe that he has escaped. Farquhar is being executed by Union soldiers for an attempt to...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2021, 11:27 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Foreshadowing in literature occurs when the author gives a hint of what is going to occur. An instance of foreshadowing occurs as Peyton Farquhar stands on the bridge in part 1, waiting to be...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2021, 11:50 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

By telling the events of the story out of chronological order, Ambrose Bierce sets the scene for the reader, establishes the stakes, and creates the opportunity for a surprise ending. The story of...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2020, 9:19 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Ambrose Bierce's story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" features a fascinating narrative structure. The story's first section presents a man about to be hung. This man is already standing on a...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2021, 3:43 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Ambrose Bierce's views of the war as reflected in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” appear to be that war should not be romanticized. He seems to understand the futility of war and the insanity...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2020, 4:03 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

In part 3 of the story, Peyton Farquhar is described as the rope drops to hang him as swinging through unthinkable arcs of oscillation, like a vast pendulum. This physically depicts what he looks...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2021, 11:44 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Yes, the author certainly intended Peyton Farquhar's escape to be believable. That is the heart and soul of the story. The reader identifies with Farquhar and shares his thoughts and feelings in...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2016, 2:56 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

The main irony in this story is situational irony. Situational irony occurs when some kind of difference is exposed between what is expected to happen and what really happens. In other words, what...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2019, 8:21 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

In part 2 of the short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," Ambrose Bierce provides significant insight into Peyton Farquhar's background, social status, political loyalties, and motivations....

Latest answer posted June 16, 2020, 3:44 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Based on what the Federal scout tells Peyton Farquhar in part II of the story, we have to make some assumptions, because we are never told explicitly why this man is being hanged. The Federal scout...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2018, 12:20 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

The first and most obvious example of naturalism in "The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is the narrator's commitment to detachment. Without question, the death experienced by the primary character...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2020, 8:35 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

If Bierce had written this story in causal order, he would have begun with the background on Peyton Farquhar. Then he would have noted Farquhar's discussion with the Federal scout. He'd then skip...

Latest answer posted February 27, 2013, 10:04 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

In the moments before Peyton Farquhar is hanged, he "closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children." It makes a great deal of sense that a person, in their final...

Latest answer posted February 17, 2016, 1:15 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

In Part 1 of the story, a third-person limited omniscient point of view is employed. This means that the narrator can only report the thoughts and feelings of one character, and that character is...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2019, 3:09 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

As Ambrose Bierce's “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” opens, we see a man standing on a railroad bridge with his wrists bound and a rope around his neck. He is about to be hanged by Union...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2020, 3:12 pm (UTC)

6 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

In this story set during the Civil War, there is one reference made to "military etiquette," which I assume is the focus of your question. It comes in the first section as the soldiers prepare...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2010, 6:18 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Part 2 is a flashback where we learn about Farquhar’s background. Descended from a family of the Old South, he is a wealthy plantation and slave owner. Sadly (but for reasons not explained) unable...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2020, 2:02 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

You are right to identify that Bierce uses narration in a very interesting way in this famous story. For example, in section 3, the point of view shifts to the third-person-limited point of view...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2011, 8:18 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

There is a great deal of irony in Peyton Farquhar's agreement with the idea that "all is fair in love and war." It is evident that Farquhar does feel that he is justified in doing whatever he is...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2010, 2:03 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Peyton Farquhar dies beneath the Owl Creek Bridge. He was captured and hanged for trying to sabotage and destroy the bridge so that that the Union army could not use it. The story is great, and...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2016, 12:06 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

After Farquhar seems to escape from the creek, he begins to travel through the forest toward his home, where he believes his wife and children still to be safe from the enemy's advance. He uses the...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2021, 12:05 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

The passage to which you are referring is Then all at once, with terrible suddenness, the light about him shot upward with the noise of a loud plash; a frightful roaring was in his ears, and all...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2009, 1:07 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

A dignitary is a high-ranking official, often from another country, whose status means he has to be treated with a special measure of respect or dignity. "Death is a dignitary" is a metaphor that...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2021, 11:24 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

In his story, Ambrose Pierce DOES use omnisicient narrator; he just does not use it throughout the story. In the different sections, there are variations in point of view: omniscient, in which...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2010, 6:14 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

The first paragraph in Part 2 of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" describes Peyton Farquhar and explains his devotion to the Southern cause. No service was too humble for him to peform in the...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2013, 4:06 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

In the second section of the short story, Bierce writes that a Union spy disguised as a Confederate soldier arrives at Peyton Fahrquhar's estate to ask for a drink of water. The Union spy then...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2018, 4:20 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

One key literary device used in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is imagery. Ambrose Bierce describes the place of the hanging in vivid detail. He shows how the rope restrains Peyton Farquhar’s...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2021, 4:58 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," which, along with many of his Civil War stories, came out of his own experience as a Captain of topographical engineers (map makers) in the federal...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2017, 11:39 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Since Ambrose Bierce fought on the Union side in the Civil War and was involved in several important battles, he was undoubtedly sympathetic to the Union cause. However, he does not show any such...

Latest answer posted February 4, 2016, 1:03 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Ambrose Bierce's short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" takes place during the Civil War on a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, where Peyton Fahrquhar awaits his death by hanging as he...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2018, 3:24 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

The narrator tells us that Peyton Farquhar is a wealthy plantation owner who ardently supports the Confederate cause against the Union Army. Despite his affinity for the Confederacy and his...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2018, 11:59 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Ambrose Bierce implies several things about the psychology of the human mind in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge". One is that the mind essentially creates its own reality, especially in a moment...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2015, 3:50 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is neatly divided into three sections, the first and last longer and the middle one shorter. Section two provides the explanation of how and why the protagonist,...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2016, 3:57 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

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...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2018, 1:30 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

No, Peyton Farquhar did not actually burn down the Owl Creek bridge. He was, essentially, set up by the Union army so that they were anticipating his attempt to do so, and he was—we can...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2021, 12:11 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Stream of consciousness is a literary technique that focuses on the flow of thoughts within the minds of characters rather than objective linear narrative. The term was first described in The...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2019, 5:43 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

This story always surprises students because they almost never see the ending coming; however, the author drops quite a few hints that what Farquhar is experiencing is not real. The final paragraph...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2018, 8:55 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Ambrose Bierce divides his short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek” into three sections, which apply different points of view and levels of consciousness to the same event: the hanging of Peyton...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2020, 11:26 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

It is arguable that Bierce begins the suspense in the first section by describing Peyton Fahrquhar but omitting his name. He is described as looking like a kindly man, a planter, and readers wonder...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2019, 8:03 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

The mood shifts according to the point-of-view in "An Occurrence at Owl Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce. As the story opens the mood is stoic; the scene portrayed reads more like a report of how the...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2012, 4:37 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Bierce's choice of an opening scene immediately creates suspense, as the reader will want to know the identity of the man who stood twenty feet above the water with his hands tied behind his back...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2019, 6:44 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Mrs. Farquhar plays a significant role in the story even though she speaks no lines of dialogue. Interestingly, she serves to make Farquhar both a more sympathetic character and a less sympathetic...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2019, 5:22 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Ambrose Bierce creates a suspenseful, dramatic ending to his classic short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," which is both captivating and credible. Bierce utilizes structure to perfection...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2019, 11:59 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Ambrose Bierce utilizes third person limited narration as well as third person objective narration throughout Part Three of the short story. Third person limited point of view is when the narrator...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2018, 11:23 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

The ticking of Peyton Farquhar's watch in section I is significant because of its imagery, its symbolism, and its use as a device to trick the reader into a willing suspension of disbelief during...

Latest answer posted July 4, 2017, 2:23 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

In the beginning of Part 3 of this story, Peyton Farquhar is getting hanged. He is being hanged because he has tried to sabotage the bridge. He gets hung, but the rope breaks and he falls into the...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2010, 7:55 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

The shift to the present tense in the penultimate paragraph gives a sense of immediacy to Peyton Farquar's experience. But it's not the immediacy of reality; instead, it's the immediacy of a dream....

Latest answer posted February 17, 2019, 8:40 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Peyton Farquhar was a planter and Southern sympathizer who, although he was unfit for military duty, longed to do his part for the Confederacy. He was visited one day by "a grey-clad...

Latest answer posted May 27, 2008, 7:20 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

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