In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," what equally effective point of view could Bierce have used?

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The narrative style is a bit unusual as it is. Ambrose Bierce, the author, divides the story into three parts and changes the narration each time. In the first part, a third person point of view is used, with the narrator describing the setting up to the point when the plank is removed from Farquhar's feet. In section two, we still have third person point of view, but we also get some of Farquhar's thoughts and perceptions. This section gives the background information up to the point of the hanging. The third section changes to a first person point of view when Farquhar falls through, but because it is Farquhar's thoughts, he thinks the rope breaks, and he gives us an accounting of trying to escape. At the end of the story, the point of view then switches back to third person and our objective narrator, and we are told Farquhar is dead. The reader is as confused as Farquhar because we don't know if he really escaped or if he is hallucinating. I think this is the most effective narrative technique that could be used to tell this story.

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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

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