silhouette of a man half submerged in water wiht a noose around his neck

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

by Ambrose Bierce
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What is a theme of this story?

Expert Answers

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To me, the main themes of this story are time (and how we perceive time) and our attitudes towards death.

In this story, Peyton Farquhar experiences a lot of things (as it turns out) in the time between when he falls off the bridge and the split second later when he dies.  People experience time differently depending on what is going on with them.

Second, we can see how hard Farquhar is holding on to life.  He does not want to die and is holding on to life as hard as he can, trying to live as long as he can.

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