Essay about An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge By Ambrose Bierce

1111 Words Mar 4th, 2016 5 Pages
As we view the evolvement of American literature, we begin to move away from the transcendentalist impressions of writers, and move toward a more realistic notion. The texts and authors of this era were greatly influenced by the circumstances around them: the American Civil War, the rush to the Alaskan Yukon for gold, or the Industrial Revolution, which incited them to see the world in a different light than those before them. To a reader with little to no knowledge on the background of the author or the subject, the texts may appear pessimistic or bleak, but with the insight on what was happening during this time period, one recognizes the influence those events had on the authors. Writers coming after Transcendentalism saw the world for what it really was and what it was becoming: a depressed, careless, and even hostile world. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce gives insight into what the American Civil War was like and the horrors it produced. Bierce describes the hanging of a citizen living in the south during the war. He portrays the carelessness and hostility that citizens of the same country had for each other. The Union scout deceives Peyton Farquhar into tampering with the bridge just so he would be hanged. A scout’s job is to explore enemy territory and report their discoveries, but this scout goes out of his way to involve a citizen: “He was a civilian, if one might judge from his habit, which was that of a planter . . . Evidently this was no…

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