An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Essay

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In the following essay, Cheatham and Cheatham talk about how the name Peyton Farquhar in Bierce's "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" symbolizes the character.

Peyton Farquhar—no reader of Ambrose Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" fails to note the oddity of the name. Any one having taught the story has no doubt had students find the name humorous. Why then did Bierce, who could have given the character any name, choose the one that he did? Is Peyton Farquhar simply one of those old names, familiar to the nineteenth century, which falls strangely on modern ears, or does its oddness serve some function in the story? A close look at the name suggests the latter point and, further, that Bierce chose the name carefully.

Peyton, first, is a variant spelling of Payton, the Scottish form of Patrick (from the Latin, meaning a patrician, a person of...

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This section contains 807 words
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