An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

by Ambrose Bierce


The main conflict in An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is internal conflict. Peyton Farquhar has been sentenced to be hung and is having conflict within himself about his fate. The story starts off by describing Peyton's situation and the setting and it also sets the mood. The story moves from describing the scene to describing the thoughts going through his head, these thoughts start to show the conflict Peyton is having within himself. " 'If I could free my hands," he thought, "I might throw off the noose and spring into the stream. By diving I could evade the bullets and, swimming vigorously, reach the bank, take to the woods and get away home.' "(3.) As you can see from the quote, Peyton is struggling to except his fate and is thinking of ways he could escape. After these thoughts Peyton is about to be hung when suddenly he falls into the river. He soon realizes he has been given a chance to escape and swims to the bank and escapes into the woods to go home and reunite with his family. After Peyton has been reunited with his family we soon discover that this whole time Peyton has been imagining this scenario. Peyton has been dreaming up scenarios in which he escapes to try and avoid his current situation. Because Peyton is so set on escaping and can not actually escape he is having internal conflict with himself