What is a good thesis statement for "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"? Here is my thesis statement is it appropriate or not? Time is a mutable element and is also one of the most...

What is a good thesis statement for "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"? Here is my thesis statement is it appropriate or not?

Time is a mutable element and is also one of the most important aspects in life.  Time in a larger sense; in terms of history, is so important because it can create the setting within a specific point in historical time; a point  that can create plot of a story because of its content.  In a minute or more the level, the function of time can define a story as both surreal and realist because it describes things in exact detail, taking many paragraphs to relate a single second. Thus, with the exception of historical time, time itself is something that is not real but is only perceived with dramatic and surprising effects to bring a conclusion.

Asked on by rachl70

2 Answers | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The idea contained in your last sentence is worthy and relevant to Ambrose Bierce's story, "An Occurrence on Owl Bridge."  Since the concept of time does not really exist, Bierce utilizes this abstract concept which man has created to distort the reality of the action in his narrative, as you mention.

As the previous poster has asked you, consider the theme as having to do with the human condition.  Indeed, what happens in the plot is a result of the suspension of time in the mind of the condemned man.  (If you have ever been in a car accident, you will understand how slowly the point of impact comes if you are aware of its approach--odd.)  It is because time in the sense of hours and minutes is not real that it can seem slower or longer depending upon one's mental condition.

So, that being said, what about this to "tighten up" what you have put:

Time is a mutable element, yet it is also of paramount importance in life.  For, it is man's method of measurement, recording history and marking moments in one's life.  In Ambrose Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" the narrative of the capture of an Alabama soldier by the Northern army lends dramatic and untimely effects to his final hours. 

[You may also wish to consider Bierce's variations in point of view--omniscient narrator to objective to third-person limited narrator--affect the story and concept of time.]

The sites listed below also has some tips you may wish to read.  Good Luck!

suhodgson's profile pic

suhodgson | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Consider the theme here as having more to do with the human condition, and its ensuing limitations. "Time," is simply a mechanism used by the author to project flash-forward, if you will, in the same way flashback is used to the advantage of so many writers. In the case of "Occurence," the real question (Thesis) might be, is the story more about what DID happen, or WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED?

We’ve answered 318,985 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question