Type: Review
Pages: 2 | Words: 327
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce is a story about dying. He presents a blurry distinction between the last moments Farquhar had and his death experience. These events lead to different interpretations of the text. When Farquhar faces death, he loses knowledge of time and his outside physical body. The story implies the state of human psychology when he faces death.

The death that Farquhar faces reduces him to a network of inaccurate sensory impressions that make him create a fantasy of escape. As stated in the story, Farquhar heard, “”¦a sharp, discrete, metallic striking like the stroke of a blacksmith’s hammer upon the anvil; it had the same ringing eminence. “¦like the thrust of a knife, he feared he would scream. What he heard was the ticking of his watch.” (Bierce 481) This shows how Farquhar slipped outside time and his physical being.

The distorted sensory impressions show a gap between reality and illusion as experienced by Farquhar. A good example of this is in the scene where he has no notice of time between the firing of the cannon and the arrival of the bullet. In the same manner, Farquhar thinks that he can see the eyes of the expert shooter through the sights of the rifle. Farquhar continues to have unrealistic impressions throughout the story. He has a distorted vision in which the present landscape is altered into a series of colored horizontal bands that swirl. This shows the inability of Farquhar to understand how he ended up in this predicament. The theme of reality versus the imagined has been clearly brought up with the above examples where Farquhar slips from a world of reality to inaccurate sensory impressions (Bierce 483).

In conclusion, Bierce has clearly brought up the concept of human psychology in the face of death through Farquhar’s experience in a death tray. Farquhar has lost a sense of reality into illusions. This brings up the theme of reality versus the imagined.

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