Ambrose Bierce

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What are the different parts of the plot in Ambrose Bierce's story "The Mocking-Bird"?

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This is an interesting story in terms of its structure and emphasis. Like much of Bierce's work, it seeks to expose the true tragedy of civil war, which in this case is portrayed through the story of the Grayrock brothers.

The introduction to the story, the first element, is easily enough identified. In this section of a story, the writer provides the setting—which Bierce does explicitly, giving the place (southwestern Virginia), the year (1861), and even the time of day (a Sunday afternoon). He then introduces the protagonist, Private Grayrock of the Union army, who is posted "as a sentinel" in the forest. We now know the context of the story and the main character with whom we are concerned.

The next part of the plot is the rising action. Again, in this story, we can identify this part quite easily—the rising action is where we see some indication of what difficulty the character will face and what will cause it. We learn quickly that the "gloom of the wood" is deep on this night and...

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