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 are two literary elements used in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", and how do they enhance the story?

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Point of View is a determining element of this short story. Bierce cleverly switches from omniscient to third-person limited, to first person narrator with stream-of-consciousness. The magnificent use of variations in points of view create the unsurety in readers as to whether Peyton Farquar is truly hanged as they are led through the complexities of the human mind.

The Romantic notion that life will be gratifying finds its inevitable counterpart in Bierce's story as the Realism and Naturalism of the story intrude in the ending. As Farquar imagines his reunion with this beautiful wife, a blazing white light leads to darkness and

his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge.

 

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