Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

In: Other Topics

Submitted By baseballaddict
Words 1023
Pages 5
Trenton Day
Mrs. Barber
English 11-5
21 March 2013
Critical Analysis
The Occurrence
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” has been read by any and every story critic in the nation. This short story by Ambrose Bierce has been read for over one hundred and twenty years. Bitter Bierce creates a very unsatisfying ending through the story for the reader through a unique plot structure, an intriguing setting, a common point of view, and a terrible sense of irony.
The plot structure is a very weird way to tell a story. The story begins with a man ready to be hung for treason. One immediately sees that the conflict is going to be a man vs. man plot. He also learns what the scene looks like. A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man's hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck. It was attached to a stout cross-timber above his head and the slack fell to the level of his knees. Some loose boards laid upon the ties supporting the rails of the railway supplied a footing for him and his executioners—two private soldiers of the Federal army, directed by a sergeant who in civil life may have been a deputy sheriff. At a short remove upon the same temporary platform was an officer in the uniform of his rank, armed. He was a captain. A sentinel at each end of the bridge stood with his rifle in the position known as "support," that is to say, vertical in front of the left shoulder, the hammer resting on the forearm thrown straight across the chest—a formal and unnatural position, enforcing an erect carriage of the body. It did not appear to be the duty of these two men to know what was occurring at the center of the bridge; they merely blockaded the two ends of the foot planking that traversed it.
One can also learn who the man being hung is. He is a…...

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