An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge
By Ambrose Bierce
This sudden turn of events completely changed the readers perception of the outcome of the story. The author went into great detail in writing Farquhar's imaginary escape home, by making him so convinced that he was going to make it home, therefore making the reader believe that as well. If someone that is about to be hanged can imagine such a realistic escape, how can we distinguish in our lives what is reality and what is just a figure of our imagination?
Rising Action: The main character, Peyton Farquhar, slips out of the noose and plunges into the water in the river below. After an intense escape of the gunfire from the soldiers on the bridge above, Farquhar runs through the woods, eventually ending up at his home.
Climax: Just as Farquhar is about to embrace his wife at his home, he feels a sharp pain in the back of his neck. This is when reality hit him, and he was hanged at the bridge.
During his imaginary escape during the Rising Action, reality hits Farquhar and he is hanged by the bridge. His death is the end of the story, and since his death is the climax, there is no Falling Action or Resolution.
Can our interpretations of our lives alter the way we distinguish reality from imagination?
The surprise twist at the end of this story confuses, but also engages the reader and allows his/her to question their own life and their own perspective. As humans, we have all have different interpretations of our own lives. If Peyton's views on his life created a completely imaginary escape from his death, what distinguishes us from Peyton? What if the perspectives that we have on our lives cause us to imagine things as in depth as Peyton did? This story forces us to question our lives. It forces us to question wether or not we can trust the perceptions that we have of the world.