Essay on An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

1418 Words Oct 4th, 2016 6 Pages
Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” ends with this stark imagery: “Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of Owl Creek bridge” (151). This line presents a cold, distant, and annotative description of death; there is little to invoke the representation of the life that has been lost. Yet, Bierce’s narrative up to this point has succinctly painted the picture of that life, its final moments and its desire to keep living. Likewise, Arthur C. Clark’s “The Star,” grabbles with existence, presenting a narrator who evaluates his faith in the face of a destroyed alien civilization. In both instances, the facts of what have occurred can be described as harrowing, yet, through the fantastical aspects of these stories we find meaning. Perhaps, it is the aspects of fantasy itself that gives those facts meaning to the reader and thus is inseparable as a component of how the readers of these tales truly extract meaning from the facts. At the core of the aforementioned short stories lies intense factual information. The Jesuit narrator of Alan C. Clarke’s “The Star” spews factual information in his concluding paragraphs,
"Now, from astronomical evidence and the record in the rocks of that one surviving planet, I have been able to date it very exactly. I know in what year the light of this colossal conflagration reached our Earth. I know in what year the supernova whose corpse now dwindles behind our…

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