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

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge book cover
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What happens after Farquhar seems to escape from the creek?

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A great deal of the story's narration is about Farquhar being swept downstream away from the soldiers shooting at him. Farquhar will eventually be washed onto the shore, and the very first thing that he does is weep with delight. He is thrilled to have escaped his hanging, and he is joyously crying at having escaped the barrage of bullets that were fired at him. Next, Farquhar digs his hands into the dirt and throws it over himself in delight. He is shot at one last time, and this breaks his reverie. Farquhar then bolts into the forest. For the remainder of the day, Farquhar heads through the forest toward his house, and he arrives near it by nightfall. Unfortunately, he never arrives back at his home. His entire escape was a fabrication of his imagination.

Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge.

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In the fantasy in which Farquhar finds himself escaping the attack of the Union soldiers and his immersion in the river, he travels continuously until he reaches his home.  Along the way, Farquhar travels through a forest that seems especially strange to him, though he is still aware of the direction in which he must travel.  As he prepares to step into an embrace with his wife, he dies.  Throughout the last part of the last chapter of this story, Bierce (the author) provides the reader with hints and suggestions that Farquhar is actually being hanged and that what is apparently happening to Farquhar is not as it seems; reality begins to intrude upon fantasy.

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Farquhar never escaped it was an allusion in his mind

that happend durring the drop and then he hit the end of the rope and died