An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge Short Story Analysis

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One often wonders what one is going to imagine when on the brink of death, will his or her life flash before their eyes or will one just pass without any recollection. In Ambrose Bierce’s short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and the French film adaptation of the same name by Robert Enrico the main character faces a situation when on the brink of death and imagines his family. Although the movie omits some details stated in the short story, it still does an excellent job at building suspense like its written counterpart. In other words, regardless of the means of experiencing Bierce’s story, the reader or watcher can definitely get a sense of the suspense and can truly appreciate the story. Bierce’s written story and the French film …show more content…
The French film demonstrates this by having Farquhar struggle with getting untied while submerged under water, then following it with the dodging of dozens of bullets, and finally concluding it with Farquhar running with all his strength through a tunnel of trees, all while thinking of his family. This initially causes the watcher to be surprised when the rope breaks, and then since the motivation behind Farquhar’s actions is known, the watcher is left holding his or her breath as Farquhar uses all his might to get home. The unknown again causes one to be more attracted to a film, and with the suddenness of Farquhar’s escape, the watcher is left hoping the Farquhar makes it home, thus building suspense because one does not know if he will. On the other hand, the written version of Bierce’s story does this by having the same suddenness with rope breaking and giving a complete third part describing the light that Farquhar sees in while submerged, his tumultuous trip down the river, the rush of gunshots going toward Farquhar, and by his journey through the forest and view of the stars. “As Peyton Farquhar fell straight downward through the bridge he lost consciousness and was as one already dead…. He opened his eyes in the darkness and saw above him a gleam of light, but how distant, how inaccessible! He was still sinking, …show more content…
The French film demonstrates this by depicting Farquhar’s sadness when remembering his family, his tenacity when struggling to get free of his binding to get home, and by his determination to keep going even when exhausted or if gunshots are being fired, which would result in his death. This leads the watcher to be filled uncertainty and anxiousness, causing one to wonder the final result of Farquhar and to see if it ends well for him. By adding these senses the watcher can relate which humanizes Farquhar leading one to sympathize with him and because of his situation the watcher is filled with suspense. On the other hand, the written version of Bierce’s story does this by giving the reader a complete description of Farquhar’s thoughts from the moment he is having the noose around his neck to the rush he felt when running through the forest. “ He felt the ripples upon his face and heard their separate sounds as they struck. He looked at the forest on the bank of the stream, saw the individual trees, the leaves and the veining of each leaf—he saw the very insects upon them: the locusts, the brilliant bodied flies, the gray spiders stretching their webs from twig to twig. He noted the prismatic colors in all the dewdrops upon a million blades of grass. (Bierce 34)” Through the senses, the reader really gets a

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