February 28, 2011
”An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” page 135
The Story of a Hung Man
In “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” Ambrose Bierce describes a story of a prisoner that was ready to be executed. This story occurred in the war between secessionists and federalists. Peyton Farquhar was a planter and a slave owner from the south. He was acivilian and a fanatic of the Southern cause, so he tried to destroy a bridge that was in power of the Federal army, and for that he was captured. In this story I saw that Peyton lived some situation that showed his incapacity to escape, his love for the life, and his capacity to create a false truth.
Although Peyton wanted to escape of his fatal destiny, he did not have any opportunityto survive, so he was in a frustrating situation. His hands were tied, behind him, with a rope, and a rope was over his shoulder. Also, he was stood on a plank; he was looking down to a river that was twenty feet far away below him. Behind him there was a sentinel, and there were many soldiers that were ready to shoot him if he would try to escape. Peyton wished that the rope would havebroken when he has been hanged then he would fall into the water, but if this situation happened, he would not survive because he could not swim with his hands tied behind his back. Peyton thought that there were possibilities that would help him to escape, but he was wrong because everything was against him.
When some people are going to lose their life, in this moment they are going to lovethe life, and they are going to love everything that exists in the world. You can see some examples of this love in this story when Peyton was losing the most important thing in the life, the life itself; he wanted to live to be with his wife and his children, and he would give all his energy to survive to share his lifetime with his family. Also, when Peyton was losing his life, hestarted to appreciate many things that perhaps he never appreciated before. For example, in the moment that he was dying, he started loving everything that was near of him; the air, the trees, the insects, the locusts, the dewdrops that were in front of the bridge. In that moment Peyton was appreciating the world; he was comparing the gravel that he could have on his hands with diamonds orrubies. Peyton did not care about what could happen with his life if he were captured, but in the moment that he was losing his life, he wanted to live to enjoy the life and the world.
When some people are pretty close to losing their life, in many occasions they deny the truth, and they create a false truth inside their minds. In this story Ambrose recreated some examples a false truth; in thestory Peyton was swinging with the rope that was tightening and breaking his neck. Because Peyton wanted to live, he created a false truth in his mind. He thought that the rope had broken then he fall into the water of the river, untied his hands, and swam to save his life. Also, he thought that he had a supernatural power. He thought that his five senses were so sharp that he saw each leafthat there were in the forest that was in front of the bridge, and he saw the gray eyes that belong to a marksman who was far away shooting at him. He thought that many soldiers were shooting at him, but the bullets touched him then they bounced away. In sum he created a false truth where he had escaped, and he had found refuge on the arms of his wife.
The life is the most precious giftthat people have. When they know that very soon they are going to die, sometimes they try to escape of this destiny, so they start loving the life, and they deny the truth creating a false truth. That happened to Peyton in this story.
Introduction to Bibliografia: Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. page135, An Literature, Fifteenth Edition. Sylvan Barnet. William Burto....
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