Ambrose Bierce 's Chickamauga And An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

1510 Words Oct 31st, 2014 7 Pages
In the early 1800s, when romanticism prevailed, Ambrose Bierce introduced a gruesome and realistic view on human character and war. Many people were shocked at the realities of war due to their previous romanticized ideals of war which consisted of a "hero" and a somewhat "fairytale ending." In Ambrose Bierce 's Chickamauga and An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, the recurring theme is focused heavily on that things are not always what they seem.
The beginning scenes of Chickamauga shows a young boy fantasizing about war. The reader follows the boy in his adventure as he chases his enemy through the woods. Though the boy may seem brave, as Bierce describes him,"...he now bore bravely, as become the son of an heroic race," the boy is easily frightened, " in the path that he was following, sat, bolt upright, with ears erect and paws suspended before it, a rabbit! With a startled cry the child turned and fled," (Bierce). At this point Bierce is attempting to reveal to his audience the irony of the boys reaction. So far the boy has acted brave as he is chasing his enemy, but in a single moment the boys whole attitude changes to a frightened child. This irony is to prove Bierce 's message that not everything is what it seems.
Moreover, the tone in the passage shifts as the reader witnesses the boy sleeping while a raging battle is fought. Again, Bierce reveals the irony of such romantic ideas, he makes his readers question how a young boy can sleep through an entire battle. With a…

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