An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.
This section contains 665 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Study Guide

Time

Bierce uses a complex narrative structure to advance the theme of time in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." He distorts the reader's sense of time by revealing at the end of the story that Farquhar imagined his escape in the few seconds before he died even though the escape takes up a great portion of the narrative. By doing so, Bierce addresses the ways time can be portrayed and manipulated in fiction, a medium in which the reader is often reliant on the author to represent or create reality. Bierce also stresses that time is subjective and phenomenal, especially during times of mental or emotional duress.

Death and Dying

Bierce also examines the human desire to escape or cheat death and speculates what occurs physically and psychologically at the time of death. Although Farquhar's situation is quite grave—he is standing on a bridge with a noose...

(read more from the Themes section)

This section contains 665 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Study Guide
Copyrights
Short Stories for Students
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.