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

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Why do Peyton Farquhar's thoughts turn immediately to his home and family, and why did he undertake his efforts to destroy Owl Creek Bridge in the first place?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,232 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Peyton Farquhar is a wealthy plantation owner, who vehemently supports the Confederacy. Despite his affinity for the Confederacy, Peyton is not a soldier but longs to aid in the South's efforts against the Union forces. Peyton is described as being a civilian, who is a soldier at heart and is willing to do whatever is necessary to help the Confederacy. Peyton's affinity and support for the Confederacy is the reason he decides to destroy the Owl Creek Bridge. Peyton firmly believes that by destroying the Owl Creek Bridge, he will be helping slow down the advancing Union troops.

In regards to Peyton's thoughts, it is not surprising that he begins to think about his family while the noose is tightened around his neck. After imagining his dramatic escape, Peyton daydreams about returning home and seeing his wife and children one last time. In Peyton's imagination, he opens the gates to his home as his wife steps down from the veranda to meet him. Just as Peyton is about to hug his wife, he feels a blow to the back of his neck and sees a bright light surrounding him. Peyton's final thoughts about his family give him comfort and provide him with a moment of peace before he is hanged.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial