What is significant about this quote from the story "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge"?"He chafed under the inglorious restraint, longing for the release of his energies, the opportunity for...

What is significant about this quote from the story "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge"?

"He chafed under the inglorious restraint, longing for the release of his energies, the opportunity for distinction."

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Peyton Farquar, the protagonist of the Ambrose Bierce short story, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," would have preferred to be serving with the military in a more distinctive position. He hints that he would have liked to be on the battlefield, and considering his stature as a plantation owner, he most likely would have been an officer. To him, serving as a spy, behind the lines, was "an inglorious restraint"--restrained from the glories of Confederate victories. He assumed that with battlefield command would come promotions to a higher rank.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To me, the significance of this quote in the context of the story is that it pretty well sums up why Peyton Farquhar is going to end up standing on that bridge, about to be hung.

Farquhar thinks of himself as some sort of hero.  He chafes under the restraints that kept him from going off and becoming a soldier (we don't know what it is that prevented this).  So he wants to have some opportunity to win glory.  This is going to end up leading him to go and try to sabotage the bridge when that Union officer in disguise tells him about it.

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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

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