An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

890 Words 4 Pages
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” describes the execution of a civilian planter in the American Civil War. The story is told from a third-person’s point of view, which almost convinces reader that Peyton Fahrquhar, the innocent planter, has escaped from the execution by elaborating the detailed surroundings and psychological activity. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” narrates a daily life of poor Walter Mitty, who lives under the dominance of his wife. Dreaming in the day seems like it is his only way of self-consolation and getting rid of his wife’s shadow. Although a common writing technique in both articles is mixing the description of reality and delusion, they are different in either character’s nature or narration method to server …show more content…
Ambrose Bierce tells the story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” in both linear and flashback narration. Bierce's story can be divided into three sections [Ames, Clifford R]. The first section describes the preparations for the execution of a civilian planter. The second section explains the reason of why Peyton Fahrquhar is captured and sentenced to death. And the last section depicts the feelings, thoughts, and delusion of the poor planter as he images his escape. If not pointing out the shocked result of Peyto Fahrquhar in the last sentence, I think Bierce is successfully fooling readers to believe the young man has somehow managed to escape from the execution by his magic narrative skills. In contrast, James Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is an example of a circular narrative, as the story concludes with Mitty escaping his mundane life in unrealistic fantasies [Layfield, Emily]. As we can notice from Thurber’s writing, Mitty’s life is full of fantasies and delusion. While driving, Mitty dreams as if he is flying a plane. While passing a hospital, he dreams as if he is a doctor and giving his patient an operation. When waiting for his wife to have her hair done, he dreams as if he is the captain of a bomber. The fantasy repeats one after another as long as Mitty tries to escape from his real …show more content…
The background of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is American Civil War, but in the article, writer doesn’t spend a word to portray the crucial and brutal of a war. The hanging is kind of abrupt and harsh, since Fahrquhar’s intention of burning the bridge is just to defend his plantation and family. This help Fahrquhar earn reader’s sympathy and make reader more willing to believe that his escaping from execution is real [Samide, Daniel E]. In Thurber’s writing, readers may sympathize with Walter Mitty, since he lives under the dominant and shadow of his wife. Mitty tries to be someone, but actually he is no one that could only immerse in fantasies. Mitty is a humoristic character under Thurber’s writing. But behind this, Thurber also wants readers to begin review themselves. Everyone has dreams and fantasy. And no one can easily say he is able to fulfill his dreams or fantasy in realities. Therefore, think twice before you feel sympathetic for Mitty if you cannot be the one in your

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