An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Plot Line

The exposition is when Peyton Farquhar has the noose is around his neck and he is looking down into the river. The rising action is when the rope breaks(in his hallucination) and he swims down the river and starts to run in the woods. The climax is when he sees his wife and he is going to hug her. The falling action is when we realize that he has just been imagining his escape, and he dies due to neck snapping, from being hung.

Protagonist Characterization

The main protagonist of the story(Peyton Farquhar) is indirectly characterized in a few different ways. He is indirectly characterized as a family man, by the way he is constantly thinking about his family all throughout the hallucination. His wife was also the last thing that he saw before he died. He also indirectly characterized by being a slave owner, which shows that his morals might not be the best. "At the bottom of the steps she stands waiting, with smile of ineffable joy, an attitude of matchless grace and dignity. Ah, how beautiful she is! He springs forward with extended arms".(21) This shows how much he cares for his wife and why he had the whole dream of getting back to her.


The theme of this short story is that imagination is very powerful. This is shown by most of the story being him imagining escape. Even in one of the worst possible places to be in, about to be hung, he finds a way to make it back to his wife. All he can think about the whole time is getting back to his family, and using his imagination he gets there.

literary Device

A literary device that the author uses is figurative language. The author consistently uses very good describing words to paint a picture in the readers head, "a gentle acclivity topped with a blockade of vertical tree trunks, loopholes for rifles"(11).

Major Conflict

The major conflict in this short story is that Farquhar is being hung. When he starts to dream the conflict become the soldiers that are chasing after him.
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Most Compelling Aspect

The most compelling aspect of the story is that the author uses great language to convince the reader that the hallucination that Farquhar was having was real and it was a twist ending when he was actually hung.