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

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge book cover
Start Your Free Trial

An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge Realism

What are some examples of literary realism in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"?

Expert Answers info

Michelle Barry, M.B.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseProfessional Writer, Professional Researcher

bookB.A. from Swarthmore College

bookM.B.A. from New York University


calendarEducator since 2019

write684 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Literary realism describes reality through details that include mundane items and everyday experiences as they occur in the real world. The genre seeks to stay as close to the truth or accurate description as possible. Literary realism also seeks to eliminate dramatic or romantic flourishes.

In “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” we can see an example of this style in the way author Ambrose Bierce introduces the reader to the condemned man, Peyton Farquhar. Bierce provides details about the noose around Farquhar's neck which enable the reader to clearly visualize what the hanging scene looks like. Bierce says:

“[Peyton's] hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck. It was attached to a stout cross-timber above his head and the slack fell to the level of his knees. Some loose boards laid upon the ties supporting the rails of the railway supplied a footing for him and his executioners…”

Bierce then describes the sentinels that guard...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 950 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write7,210 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

parkerlee eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write854 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,150 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial