An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

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What are some examples of irony in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"?

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Jonathan Beutlich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The main irony in this story is situational irony. Situational irony occurs when some kind of difference is exposed between what is expected to happen and what really happens. In other words, what happens is not what the audience was expecting to happen. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is a wonderful example of this, and Bierce absolutely does a wonderful job of controlling reader expectations.

This is one reason why this story is so much fun to teach year after year. I know what happens at the end of the story, but my students do not. It's wonderfully amusing to have students read the story out loud in class and watch their reactions as the final lines of the story hit. They are completely caught off guard because Bierce does such a great job of convincing readers that Farquhar has actually escaped and is making his way back to his house and wife. There is huge situational irony in believing that Faquhar is actually escaping rather than imagining all of his escape in the time it takes...

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