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January 11, 2013

Timing the Events in Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"


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Class,

In the comment box below, . . .

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

~Dr. Hobbs

_____________________________________

To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at January 11, 2013 02:46 PM

Readers' Comments:

Deciding the Point-of-View - From Whose Perspective are Bierce's and Poe's Stories Told?

19 February 2007

Class,

You'll find today's homework assignment below . . .

1. Review the two articles from the Coursepack about “Point of View” from Friday’s readings.
2. Decide which point of view you think is being used in either “The Masque of the Red Death” or “An Occurrence at Owl Creek."
3. Write a short response on the English-blog that states your case.
4. Be able to “defend” your position/argument with examples from both the short story and the places in the Coursepack articles that explain the point of view you are defending. Use page numbers in parenthesis and be sure to put the full citations at the end.
5. You should be able to do this short assignment in one to two paragraphs.
6. Have a look at my comments to the answers from your previous responses about “Connections” to see what kind of responses got the full two points. You’ll notice that in each case, they followed the instructions by preparing the works cited and actually using examples from the text to prove their case (evidenced by the numbers in parentheses)

Remember to do your readings. I retain the right to quiz you at any time on them!

*A short note to those students who actually read these blog posts:

Friday we will not meet in our regularly scheduled courseroom. I repeat: we will NOT meet in Keith 165 on Friday.

Instead, Friday’s class meeting will be held in Leonard Hall, Room 118.

I mention this here in the event that I forget to mention it Wednesday in class or if someone is absent Wednesday. Wednesday’s class will meet in our regular courseroom.

See you then,

Dr. Hobbs

---------------------------------------

Dear Dr.. Hobbs,

My name is Lyndsay K. I was an S.A. in class on Monday February 19, 2007
Thank you

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at February 19, 2007 05:00 PM

2.19.07

Professor Hobbs,

The point of view in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce is a third person narrative. In third person narrative, the person telling the story is not a character in the story. This is seen when Ambrose Pierce wrote in the first sentence, “He was a civilian, if one might judge from his habit, which was that of a planter” (200). This sentence does not use “I” so we know it is not first person; the narrator is reporting the actions of the characters using words such as “he”. Using words such as “he, she, they” represents a non-participant point of view (Roberts 85).
Third person narratives can also be described as dramatic. An example of this is when the narrator uses dialogue within the story (Roberts 85). When an order is placed for any civilian to be hanged when caught prying near railroads, bridges, etc., Peyton Farquhar discusses this with a passing soldier. “How far is it to the Owl Creek bridge?” asked Farquhar, and the soldier responded, “About thirty miles” (Bierce 201). The narrator is reporting what he believes was said by the characters. The narrator is also omniscient or “all knowing” (Roberts 85). This is evidenced by the narrator’s ability to enter the mind of the character in the example, “By nightfall he was fatigued, footsore, famishing” (Bierce 204). The narrator is going into the character’s role and assuming that Peyton Farquhar is going through these hardships.

See you in class,
Jen N.
English 121.003 MWF 11:45-12:45

Bierce, Ambrose. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” 1891. Rpt in Writing About Literature by Edgar V. Roberts. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2006.

Roberts, Edgar V. Writing About Literature. 11th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.

Posted by: Jen Naugle at February 19, 2007 09:03 PM

Rebecca Shenkle
2/19/07

Point of View

The story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is told from the third person point of view. I know this because a third person point of view is when the narrator is not participating in the action of the story, but is able to talk about the character’s feelings (C.P, 62). In this story there is a narrator that is not involved in the story, but is telling about the man who is being hung and how is he is feeling throughout the process. For example, in the story, the narrator talks about what the character is thinking: “Striking through the thought of his dear ones was a sound which he could neither ignore nor understand, a sharp, distinct, metallic percussion like the stroke of a blacksmith’s hammer upon the anvil; it had the same ringing quality (Roberts, 200). This is just one example that proves that this story was told from the third person point of view.

Works Cited
Bierce, Ambrose. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” 1891. Story in Writing about Literature by Edgar Roberts, ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.
“Exploring Point of View.” 2005. Literature: What Makes a Good Story? Annenburg/CPB. 7 Dec. 2006 .

Posted by: Rebecca Shenkle at February 19, 2007 09:10 PM

Jenny Troutman
ENGL 121.003 Humanities Literature
Point of View Summary
21 February 2007


In Bierce’s piece, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is shown in a narrative third person but as an omniscient point of view. Bierce tells the story of Peyton Farquhar being hanged by these two private soldiers in the Federal Army. They were under the direction of the sergeant which may have been the deputy sheriff. “The man who was engaged in being hanged was apparently about thirty-five years of age,” (p. 200). As the paragraph goes on, Bierce states about Peyton’s characteristics so the reader can have a good, ideal picture of what he looks like. Ambrose Bierce shares about the private soldiers and Peyton of what is going on in their minds, and then read what they have said so the reader knew what was going on.

“In a nonparticipant (third-person) point of view, the teller of the tale is not a character in the tale,” (p. 65: CP) “The omniscient teller can at any time enter the mind of any or all of the characters; whereas the first-person narrator can say…,” (p.65: CP). With these definitions of what a third person and omniscient is, Bierce shows in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” the story of the man, Peyton thoughts and worries while he is being executed. Also Bierce shares of what the two private soldiers are thinking while they are following their sergeant’s orders. So with the information provided in the Course Packet (CP), I believe that Bierce is stating this story as a third person but in an omniscient point of view.

Bierce, Ambrose. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” 1891. Rpt. in Writing About Literature by Edgar V. Roberts, 11 Ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2006.

Hobbs, Lee. "Narrative Point of View." 2007. Page 65.

Posted by: Jenny Troutman at February 20, 2007 01:17 PM

20 February 2007

Professor Hobbs-

The short story “The Masque of Red Death” written by Edgar Allen Poe in our text Writing About Literature tells the story of a deadly disease in the 1800s. The author, Poe, uses a third person point of view to tell the story. Not only that, but he also writes in an objective or “fly on the wall” approach.
According to our course packet, “with the objective view, the writer tells what happens without stating more than can be inferred from the story’s action and dialogue” (62). This is very true in the case of this story since Poe describes the seen without saying anything of what the characters’ are personally feeling. We can also tell it is third person when Poe always refers to the prince as “Prince Prospero” such as on page 239. Even more to add on to the third person view is that the pronoun “he” is used when the prince speaks out on page 241. Third person point of view will tend to use these pronouns when referring to a character rather than using “you” or “I” as would be in other points of view. Throughout the story of the Red Masque, Poe keeps the feeling as one would have if they were watching from a TV and does not let on to be any part of the action. There is never any comment on the happenings and no mention of participation in the occurring events. All of these details let the reader know that the story is in fact an objective third point of view piece of literature.

Works Cited:
Poe, Edgar Allen. “The Red Masque.” 1842. Rpt. In Writing About Literature by Richard Adams, ed. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River, 2006.

Bettina Herold
ENGL121.003 Humanities Literature MWF 1145-1245

Posted by: Bettina Herold at February 20, 2007 01:22 PM

Dear Professor Hobbs,
The story" An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is an integral setting.This story is an integral setting because the setting is an important deatil to the story, knowing the setting actually gives readers a better understanding of this story and the characters actions. The characters are in the Army so explaining or giving the setting of the story only enhances the readers comprehension of this story. The author's description of the location helps readers be able to paint a mental picture of what is going on in the story.The setting being giving makes the story seems more realistic.When History is written the location of the battle is always given that is why this seems so realistic.

Posted by: Melisa Parsons at February 20, 2007 02:33 PM

Dr. Lee Hobbs

The Masque of the Red Death

The Masque of the Red Death is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, in the Nonparticipant, or the third-person point of view. It is written in the third-person point of view because Edgar Allan Poe wanted to relate his meaning and symbols of morals and death, and if he was actually apart of the short story, it wouldn’t have as much meaning as it does without having him as an actual character. He uses the red death, to describe a disease, and the true meaning of red was to express blood (Roberts pg 238). He just uses characters to explain, that it doesn’t matter your importance, but though no one can break away from death. In some ways I think Edgar Allan Poe also used selective omniscience. Selective Omniscience provides a focus especially if limited to a single or few characters (course pack pg 65). I believe he touched a little on this because his main focus seemed to be on the prince and a few others. The Masque of the Red Death uses third Point of view.

Works Cited

Roberts V. Edgar. Writing about Literature Brief 11th edition. 2006. Saddle River, New Jersey.
Hobbs. Lee, Ed. English 121.003 Humanities Literature. Indiana University of Pennsylvania Spring 2007. Course Pack.

Until Next Class
B.Decker

Posted by: Brooke Decker at February 20, 2007 03:58 PM

Professor Hobbs,

Ambrose Bierce, while relating the events of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” uses the omniscient point of view. The narrator describes the scene: a Captain, Sergeant, and sentry, dressed in Union colors, are positioned on a railroad bridge with a man who is bound and strung up. (Roberts 200) The bound man, Peyton Farquhar, is the main protagonist; all the events in the story as well as the narration center on him and his actions. This description could be attributed to a limited omniscient point of view, where the narrator has knowledge of just a single character; however I don’t believe this to be true. (CP 62)

With a limited omniscient point of view the narrator possesses emotional and inner knowledge of a single character and how that character views their world. (CP 62) If this were true, we would not have known that the dusty rider was in fact a Union soldier, and the later events may have been more of a surprise. (Roberts 201) (This same thing happens in Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”.) From Peyton’s point of view and thus the narrator’s, the dusty soldier is a member of the Confederate army, the fact that the rider was indeed a Yankee would be unknown to Peyton.

This assertion is a long shot; the case of the mistaken “Federal scout” is a part of the story mechanics: without it, the story would not be as convincing, and after multiple readings I have yet to find another instance like it. Limited omniscient point of view centering on Peyton Farquhar is a more accurate description of the narrator’s point of view.

Works Cited

Bierce, Ambrose. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” Writing About Literature. Edgar V. Roberts, Ed. with Leah Jewell. Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006. Pages: 199-204.

“ENGL 121.003 Humanities Literature Course Pack”. Lee Hobbs, ed. Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Spring 2007. Pages 62-67.

Best Regards,

Justin Bleggi

Posted by: Justin Bleggi at February 20, 2007 04:54 PM

Professor Hobbs,

From the reading of “The Masque of the Red Death,” and the course booklet about the different points of views, I believe that the story is told in the third person point of view and the first person narrative. The short story starts off as a third person, because in the beginning Poe does no use words such as I, me, mine, us, we and so on. He does not participate in the action of story, however we learn about the characters/setting through outside voices. For example on page 239 it states, “But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious.” Here Poe is letting the readers learn more about Prince Prospero and the setting of the story.

However, it seems that Poe mixes the third person narrative with first person narrative. Poe begins to use himself in the text following the third person narrative. He begins using I and me in the story. Likewise, the first person point of view states that the narrator participates in the action of the story. For example, Poe states on page 239, “But first let me tell of the rooms in which it was held.” As you can see Poe, uses the pronoun “me” and refers back to himself, as though he was a character in the story. Another time he does this is on page 241 he states, “In an assembly of phantasms such as I have painted, it ma well be supposed that no ordinary appearance could have excited such sensation.” Here again Poe uses the pronoun, “I”. In these two examples, Poe has used himself as a character in the story. However, in the beginning of the story he uses the third person point of view to explain the action of the story.

Sincerly,
April H.

Posted by: April Hunsberger at February 20, 2007 05:11 PM

Professor Hobbs,

The story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by author Ambrose Bierce, is a piece of literature written in the third person. This tale is narrated by a “non-participant” who describes the death of a man named Peyton Farquhar. The evidence in supporting this statement is included throughout the story by referring to the main subject using the words him, his, the man, and he. “The man who was engaged in being hanged was apparently about thirty-five years of age. He was a civilian, if one might judge from his habit…” (Bierce, 200). The author used the words man, he, and his when describing the main character Peyton Farquhar.
Not only does the author write in the third-person, he also writes in the neutral omniscience point of view. The narrator is merely describing the situation that occurred, leaving out any emotional or judgmental contribution. “As Peyton Farquhar fell straight downward through the bride he lost consciousness and was as one already dead”. (Bierce, 201).

Citations
Bierce, Ambrose. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” 1891. Rpt. in Writing About
Literature by Edgar V. Roberts, 11th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.


Sincerely,
Stephanie Vrabel
ENGL 121.003 Humanities Literature

Posted by: Stephanie Vrabel at February 20, 2007 05:14 PM

Gillenberger 1

Erika L.Gillenberger
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 101.025 College Writing
21 Feb 2007
Point of View
When reading “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” I came to realize that this particular story is written in the third person point of view. This is clearly defined in the readings of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” when the narrator lets us know how the character that is about to be hung feels. Even though the narrator does not participate in the action of the story we learn about the character who is about to be hung through the characters outside voice.
To give you a better understanding of the third person point of view lets look at a statement from one of the passages in this story. “If I could free my hands,” he thought, “I might throw of the noose and spring into the stream.” (pg 200) This statement lets us the readers know it is in the third person point of view, because the narrator says, “he thought” referring to the character in the story. This shows us the character feelings and thoughts by the narrator speaking with the characters outside voice.

Works Cited
Roberts, Edgar. Writing About Literature: Brief Eleventh Edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2006.

Posted by: Erika G. at February 20, 2007 06:16 PM

Point of View

The short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce is told in a third person, limited omniscient point of view. In other words, the narrator does not participate in the story as a character and has limited knowledge of only one character. In this case, that character is Peyton Farquhar, who is the man being hung in the story. In Part I Bierce describes the setting in which the story is taking place and of the people in it, including a man who is to be hung. Here is where we are first drawn into the character being hung when Bierce says, “He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children” (200). Yet, we are still unsure of the exact name of the character being hung.
In Part II we learn about the character of Peyton Farquhar, but no other character. “Peyton Farquhar was a well-to-do plantar…” (201). Other characters speak, but that is all. “The Yanks are repairing the railroads,” said the man, “and are getting ready for another advance…” (201). This goes to show that Peyton Farquhar is a character of much more importance and that he is the only character that the narrator knows about making it a limited omniscient point of view. In Part II we learn that Peyton Farquhar is indeed the man being hung and we fall into what he thinks and sees going on. “He was not conscious of an effort, but a sharp pain in his wrist apprised him that he was trying to free his hands” (202). The narrator never reveals himself throughout the story that is how we know that it is a third person point of view.

Katie Kovac
English 121 003

Posted by: Katie Kovac at February 20, 2007 08:37 PM

I was an S.A. on monday feb. 19th.

Posted by: Greg Crossland at February 20, 2007 08:47 PM

Professor Hobbs,


I believe the “Masque of the Red Death” is written from the objective point of view. The objective point of view is defined as a story in which the narrator simply tells the story. The narrator does not give any insight more that can be inferred from the story itself (Point of View, 62).

The “Masque of the Red Death” falls into this category simply because it matches the description exactly. The narrator gives a very descriptive account of the story, but includes nothing about the actual feelings of the characters. For example, the description of Prince Prospero simply gives an introduction of his character and the follows through with his actions and interactions and nothing more (Poe, 239) This type of story appears as though the narrator is simply interested in the overall plot of the story, leaving out all little details such as the characters feelings.

Works Cited

Allan Poe, Edgar. "The Masque of the Red Death." Writing About Literature. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006. 238-242.
Hobbs, Lee, ed. Point of View. Humanities Literature. Dec. 2006 .

Thank you,
Jaime Hersh

Posted by: Jaime Hersh at February 20, 2007 10:16 PM

Professor Hobbs,

In the short story “Mask of the Red Death” by Edgar Allen Poe, the story is told in first person point of view. On page 64 of the Coursepack text it states “Sometimes a first person narrator still says “I”, but the reader feels the story is not chiefly about this “I”, but some other figure.” Many speakers can also be unnamed narrators of a story.
In the story the narrator, or unnamed speaker tells us of the “Red Death” disease, symbolized by blood, attacking Prince Prospero. The first person unnamed narrator gives us the detailed description, of not only the setting and look of the seven chambers, but also the fear of the Prince. We realize he is a narrator when he uses the phrases such as “as I have told you” and “as I have painted” (241) proving his status of a first person point of view.

Sincerely,
Tina W

Posted by: Tina W at February 20, 2007 10:50 PM

Lauren Wozniak
Instructor Lee Hobbs
ENGL 121

Deciding Point of View


At the very beginning of the short story, “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe, Poe begins to tell the story in third-person point of view. This is when the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets us know exactly how the characters feel. (Course Packet, 62) For example, instead of taking on the role of the characters, Poe becomes an observer. In most cases, a third-person narrator does not use certain pronouns; such as me, I, mine, we, and us. But, because Poe uses pronouns such as those listed above he implies a shifting point of view. Poe switches from third-person point of view to first-person point of view.
Here are a few quotes from “The Masque of the Red Death” where Edgar Allan Poe switches point of view. “But first let me tell of the rooms in which it was held.”
(Poe, 239) Here Poe states, “…let me tell” indicating first person. Once again on page 241, Poe states, “In an assembly of phantasms such as I have painted, it may well be supposed that so ordinary appearance could have excited such sensation.” Here he switches the story from third-person point of view to first-person by saying, “…such as I have painted.”
By Poe switching the story from third-person point of view to first-person point of view, he is implying that he has assumed the role of Prince Prospero. In conclusion, by switching point of views Poe is making his reader assume that he could have lived to tell his story, which is impossible because the Red Death killed everyone and left no survivors.

“Exploring Point of View.” 2005. Literature: What Makes a Good Story? Annenburgh/CPB. 7 Dec.2006 .

Poe A. Edgar “The Masque of the Red Death” Writing About Literature by Edgar V. Roberts, ed. 11. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006

Posted by: Lauren Wozniak at February 20, 2007 10:50 PM

In the story "The Masque of the Red Death" it is told in the third person point of view. It's a little confusing because when the author Edgar Allan Poe is describing a room where a masquerade ball was held he states: "But first let me tell of the rooms in which it was held" (Roberts, 239). Even though this is in there, the main character of the story is Prince Prospero who is obviously not Edgar Allan Poe. He uses the prince's name when talking about him which justifies that this is written in third person.

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Masque of the Red Death. 1842. Rpt. in Writing About Literature by Richard Adams, ed. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River, 2006.

Posted by: Erin Rock at February 20, 2007 10:59 PM

Shayne Schmidt

Instructor: Lee Hobbs

ENGL 121.003 Humanities Literature

21 February 2007
Point of View
“The Masque of the Red Death”

The point of view being expressed in this story is the third person. The reason I think is because in the story you learn about the Prince from the author telling the story. You learn all of the character traits from the author. Through out the whole story you hear no dialogue that would probably establish a first person tone. The author speaks to the audience in the way he feels about the character and story.
Another point of view the author could have established is a limited omniscient point of view. The reason I think this is because in the whole story it mostly seems as if the author is limiting him self to one character. The author only talks about one character’s feeling and thoughts in the story.

Posted by: Shayne Schmidt at February 21, 2007 12:58 AM

I think the point of view in Ambrose Bierce's "An Occurence at Owl Bridge Creek" is third person, but her or she knows a lot about each character at times. At first in the beginning of the story, it's just physical descriptions, such as that of the "man being hanged." Bierce writes, "... was apparently about thirty-five years of age. He was a civilian, if one might judge from his habit, which was that of a planter." (291) If the narrator were an omniscient one, he or she would know these details already.

"The Masque of the Red Death," however, is in a first person point of view and an omniscient because there are I's in the story, but the narrator does not really shed light on his or her own experiences with the blood. Though the tone sounds participatory, the narrator focuses on the Prince. That's why I think it's a little of both, because he narrates the Prince's actions: "It was then, however, that Prince Prospero, maddening with rage and the shame of his own momentary cowardice, rushed hurriedly through the six chambers..." (330). Yet, with lines such as "In an assembly of phantasms I have painted..." (329), the narrator includes his or herself.

Hobbs, Lee. "Humanities Literature Course Pack." Copies Now, 2007. 62.

Roberts, Edgar V. Writing About Literature: Tenth Edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2003.

Posted by: Kendra Sledzinski at February 21, 2007 08:38 AM

Lee Hobbs,

The story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce is written in the third person omniscient point of view. This is because in the story the narrator describes each character with great detail and emphasis. It is also written in the “narrative dramatic point of view” because of the plot and details of Bierce sudden death, while he is about to be hanged.
In the story, Bierce is able to explain the characters thoughts and feelings by expressing it in the omniscient point of view. Without this view a reader might decipher that the escape for home was in fact real. Since the speaker knows everything that is going on readers are able to indicate the story takes a stance also on the objective point of view. The author is able to communicate to the reader by letting the audience know what Farquhar was feeling before he died. For example, “his neck was in pain and lifting his hands to it found it horribly swollen”(204). The character Farquhar did not tell us himself what he was feeling. The readers gather their information from the narrator.


Bierce Ambrose. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” 1842. Rpt. in Writing About Literature by Richard Adams, ed. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River, 2006.

Posted by: Sheryll Daugherty at February 21, 2007 08:50 AM

Professor Hobbs,
After reading the passage of, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, it seems that the type of point of view illustrated through out this text is that of the third person point of view. In the third person point of view the narrator doe not have any participation in the action of the story. The narrator is just simply a narrator and not a character from the story telling the story. The narrator does inform you of what is going on and what the other characters are feeling through out the story.
The elements of this text that allow a reader to establish that this is indeed a work in the point of view of third person are that the narrator never uses the words I or me. Usually in a text these words are used when a character is talking about them selves concerning the story.
Also the narrator establishes the other characters with him or her. For example, He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children. (Page 200, line5) Here the narrator is informing the reader of what is going on in the story. The point of view is with in the third person because the narrator did not establish themselves as a character and seeing this occur.
The narrator in a text that has a point of view of the third person also educates the reader on how the characters are feeling in the story. He felt the ripples upon his face and heard their separate sounds as they struck. (Page 202, line23) Here the narrator is informing the reader of how a character feels something physically. This is something that another character of the story could not tell. They would not be able to speak out about the emotional or physical feelings of a character with such certainty.

- Carlos Gonzalez
English 121.003
2-21-2007

Posted by: Carlos Gonzalez at February 21, 2007 09:53 AM

Dear Professor Hobbs,

Each story is told by someone, and in the literary world there are many points views that may be taken. A point of view is simply the way in which the story is told; for example if the story is being told by an active character or an outside narrator. When writing a story the author chooses the point of view that would be most effective in bringing out the meaning of their work.
Ambrose Bierce’s “The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” tells the story of a man as he is being executed. She chose to write this story in the Omniscient Point of View. In this point of view the story is told by a narrator who is all knowing (ENGL 62). One way that the reader can tell that the narrator is omnipotent is that the narrator knows what our protagonist is thinking. “He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children” ( Bierce 200)...”And now he became conscious of a new disturbance.”(Bierce 200). The narrator is not speculating what the protagonist might be thinking. He knows it as it happens.
I believe that Bierce made an excellent choice in choosing the Omniscient Point of View for this story; it allows the reader to feel a very raw description of what the main character is going through with out having the character tell it himself. This allows the reader to feel like an observer, and yet allows them to feel close to him; almost like a close friend.

Works Cited:
Beirce, Ambrose. “The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” Writing About Lirerature. Roberts, Edgar V.. Brief Eleventh Edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc, 2006. 199-204.

“Point of View.” ENGL121.003 Humanities Literature. Indiana: 2007. 62.

--Erika Knox

Posted by: Erika Knox at February 21, 2007 10:17 AM

Donnetta Allen

Professor Hobbs,

After reading The Masque of the Red Death I think that this story was written in third person. Although there is a point where the narrater refers to himself, "But first let me tell of the room in which it was held" (239). This made me wonder a little but as I kept reading it became clear that it was third person.

The course pack says, "the teller of the tale is not a character in the tale" (65). Throughout the book someone was telling the story and was not actually in the story. Even though his descriptions are as though he was present in the room, in the palace with the prince he is not actually a character in the story.

Edger Allan Poe “The Masque of the Red Death.” 1842. Rpt. in Rpt. in Writing About Literature by Richard Adams, ed. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River, 2006.

Lee Hobbs, ed. University of Pennsylvania, Spring 2007. ENG 121.003 Humanities Literature

Posted by: Donnetta Allen at February 21, 2007 10:20 AM

Lorin Gdula
Deciding The Point of View-An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

I think that in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is written in an objective point of view. Ambrose Bierce tells us what happens in the story without telling us details that we couldn’t figure out on our own. The author just tells us the story and really doesn’t participate in the story. In the beginning we learn that the main character is tied up at the edge of the bridge. We later learn that the Union Army was going to hang him for attempting to destroy the bridge. The author leads us to believe that the rope breaks and that Farquhar falls into the water, but only to escape that mess that he is in and to be reunited with his wife. But, in the end we found out that Farquhar was indeed hung and that these images were only glimpses of what he only dreamed of before his last seconds of life. She leads you into the story making you think what you want and actually look into the story, that is why I think that it is written in objective point of view.

Bierce Ambrose, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” 1891. Writing About Literature by Richard Adams, ed. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River, 2006.

Posted by: Lorin Gdula at February 21, 2007 10:41 AM

Professor Hobbs,

In an Occurrence at Owl Creek a limited omniscient third person point of view is being used. It is limited omniscient because throughout the whole story the feelings and thoughts of the other characters are never expressed, the only things we see of them are their own actions. In the course pack it describes third person point of view, “Here the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets us know exactly how the characters feel. We learn about the characters through this outside voice.” (P. 62)
It is made apparent very early in the story that it is a third person point of view. I realized it was third person in the first few sentences, “A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man’s hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck.” (p. 199) Now for somebody who hadn’t already read this story these sentences might not make it completely obvious since this could be coming from the views of another character there watching, but since I know already that Peyton is the main character and the only person who could’ve been the narrator I know this is not the case. These sentences made it obvious for me because the narrator is telling us exactly what’s going on and describing everything while not being involved in the story. If this were a movie and we were watching the man from the camera’s point of view we’d be getting the same point of view as the narrator is giving us.

English 121 course pack.

Bierce Ambrose. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek.” 1891. Rpt. in Writing About Literature by Richard Adams, ed. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River, 2006


Jeff Hoover

Posted by: Jeff Hoover at February 21, 2007 11:01 AM

Professor Hobbs

After reading the story The Masque of the Red Death, by Edger Allen Poe, I have come to the conclusion that it was written in non-participant point of you. This is because it was never written as "I". The characters were written as "he" and "prince". Further I believe that the story was written in Selective omniscience because it was limited to the single character.


Nicole Novak

Posted by: Nicole Novak at February 21, 2007 11:11 AM

Colin Hough

Instructor Lee Hobbs

ENGL 121.017

21 February 2007

The Point of View in “The Masque of the Red Death”

In Edgar Allen Poe’s famed short story, “The Masque of the Red Death,” the main character, Prince Prospero, holds a ball at his palace that turns horribly wrong. The town over which Prince Prospero rules at the time of the story had been being annihilated by a plague known as the “Red Death.” At this masquerade held by the Prince, he spots a guest dressed as a victim of the Red Death; a costume that thoroughly insulted Prospero. In need of finding out the guest’s identity, Prospero chases the guest around the castle until finally he corners the guest in the “black room,” as the rooms of the party were color coordinated. When the guest reveals his identity, Prospero found himself standing before the figure of the Red Death itself, who immediately causes the spreading of the disease throughout the kingdom.
In this story Edgar Allen Poe uses the third person point of view in order to provide narration for the story. What this means exactly is “that the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets us know exactly how the characters feel. A great example of the third person narration in “The masque of the Red Death” is when the narrator illustrates the thoughts of Prospero’s guests when they noticed the unwanted guest. “The whole company, indeed, seemed now deeply to feel that in the costume and bearing of the stranger neither wit nor propriety existed” (Roberts, 241). Explaining how the guests felt, this quotation from Poe’s short story clearly identifies the point of view taken within it as that of the third person.

Posted by: Colin Hough at February 21, 2007 11:13 AM

--------------------------------------------

*NOTE* The deadline for this assignment has now passed. Comments are no longer being accepted for this exercise

~Lee

Posted by: Lee Hobbs at February 21, 2007 02:54 PM

Dominic Hughes
English 122-CA17
Dr. Hobbs
27 January 2009

Bierce, Ambrose. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. Writing About Literature. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts. Place of
Publication: Publisher, Year. .

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is a short story about a man name Peyton Fraquhar, who was captured by some Union Soldiers, while trying to burn down a section of Owl Creek Bridge. He is about to be hung for his doings, but just as the box is kicked from under his feet, he leaps into the river just below him and swims with all his might, to his humble abode. When he arrives at his home in the early morning, he sees his wife waiting on the veranda for him. She walks towards him and him to her, but just as he is about to grasp her beautiful presence, he is struck in the neck and dies.
A particular passage in the story caught my attention because it had a very tricky ending. The passage was about Fraquhar arriving home, tired from his endless running, and he finally arrives as his destination, his home. As he approaches the gates, his wife spots him and runs to him and him the same. See the Author wants the reader to think Fraquhar is safe and alive but Ambrose twist up the ending by saying that Fraquhar feels a sharp joint to his neck; all is first bright as day, and then dark as night. Fraquahr is dead. Now, Fraquahr never escaped the bridge, he imagined the whole thing due to his urge to get home to his family. And the particular passage I read was a very good twist in the story.
I believe Ambrose ended the short story like this to describe how people act when they’re terrified, feeling that pressure of their last minutes alive. People start to hallucinate about the importance of things in their life and really forget what situation their in until they feel that sudden blow that hits them.

Posted by: Dominic Hughes at January 26, 2009 10:38 PM

Steve Milvid
Dr. Hobbs
English 122 – section ca17
2/8/2009


Bierce, Ambrose. “An Occurrence on Owl Creek Bridge.”Writing about Literature by Edgar V. Roberts.
Pearson Education INC. 2005

The short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce is one that tells the tale of a man being hung. The story takes place in northern Alabama during the Civil War. The hanging ceremony is taking place on a railroad bridge crossing a stream. The man being hung is named Peyton Farquhar, he is a southern plantation owner and a politician.
Write in the beginning of the story we learn of Peyton’s deep love for the south, “No service was to humble for him to perform in the aid of the south.” (An Occurrence on Owl Creek Bridge 201) He is clearly a supporter of the confederate states and wishes for there to be no changes made due to the war, as he is a slave owner. However, it is also apparent that Farquhar views himself as someone to important for regular military duty. Farquhar states “Circumstances of an imperious nature, which it is unnecessary to relate here, had prevented him from taking service with the Gallant Army.” (201) Peyton feels as if he is a soldier but is just waiting for the perfect time to strike, leaving him with the opportunity to be recognized. When a federal scout comes to his door disguised as a Confederate soldier he is tricked into thinking he has found the perfect opportunity to achieve distinction. The Federal spy tells him that it is possible to thwart the oncoming forces by burning the wood under the bridge. Compelled by his strong sense of duty, Peyton sets out on a mission to do such that.
After his capture he is put on the bridge to be hung. During the moments before he is hung Peyton is described as having a “kindly expression.” (200) He really feels as if he has done something for the South and is getting an honorable hanging. However, before the last board is removed beneath his feet his mind goes astray and leads him to his last few moments of happiness. He dreams that he has fallen from the bridge and into the water below and then end up on a shore downstream. He runs throughout the entire day with nothing on his mind but seeing his wife and children. Peyton is a family man who loves his children and wife deeply, as can be seen in his dream. He finally reaches the house nearly falling into his wife’s arms as he dies in real life on the bridge.

Posted by: Steve Milvid at February 10, 2009 01:20 AM

Works Cited

Wiggins, Robert A. Ambrose Bierce. University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers.
No.37. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1964. This pamphlet on Ambrose Bierce an American writer is full of valuable information into Bierce’s life in the rural farmlands of the Midwest and south frontier especially highlighting important insight to his relationship and involvement in the Civil War which holds much relevance to the story being written about.

Ziff, Larzer The American 1890’s: Life and Times of a Lost Generation. New York: The Viking
Press, 1966. Chapter eight of this book is very educational in informing the reader of Bierce’s writing style which will be very helpful to me as to interpreting the story. The description of expression and styling in An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge will enlighten the reader of my paper in the comparisons mentioned in this chapter. Very educational.

Wilson, Edmund. Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1966. In adding this at the last minute I hope to refer to chapter XIV in the book that addresses Bierce’s fascination with the Civil War and death; by also comparing him to other writers of the era, I can give support to his style. “The insistence of Ambrose Bierce on discipline, law and order, and on the need for the control of the disorderly mob by an enlightened and well washed minority has today a familiar fascistic ring.”(Wilson, 628)


Roberts, Edgar V. Writing About Literature. Brief 11th edition. Upper Saddle River: Prentice
Hall, 2005 An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, 1891: (199-204). Roberts provides the framework and explanation of the relationships between literature and its historical period. By following the examples and instructions provided I will be able to construct an informational paper about the historical significance of Bierce and his story here written within a specific time period amongst the American Civil War in the 1890’s in which Bierce personally participated.

Posted by: john at April 16, 2009 08:02 AM

John Winans
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122
15 April 2009
Crossing a Bridge Through Time: Revealing the Historical Importance of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and the Role of Ambrose Bierce.
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” written by Ambrose Bierce begins with the following line: “A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below” (199). The significance of this single line of text gives the reader a cultural setting and an introduction to a character who will take the reader on a journey across that bridge through time.
1891, the year of this story, landed between two major wars, the Civil War and the Spanish - American War as documented in historical records. This places the story within a time frame upon the timeline of American history and gives stability to the topical historical context. The Civil war officially ended in 1865 and the Spanish – American War started in 1898 but the Civil War still continued in the south as the southerners would not let it die as the story tells, and mentions the presence of the Confederate soldiers, the Union, and the various armies along with the historical fort which are all a dead giveaway to the lasting impression of the Civil War and its historical stronghold, once again adding proof of its impact on the south and in history.
Other factors to consider in placing the historical context on a timeline are the mention of the southern life including blacksmiths and slaves as mentioned in the story. This all lends credibility to the historical time period revealing when the story is taking place, and Ambrose Bierce was in the midst of it all; he was witness to similar acts of war, and of course, well adjusted to the ways of life in the later part of the 19th century. In the case of the character in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” the reader can almost place Ambrose there amidst all of the historical settings. His accuracy of events comes alive in his writings, like this passage in “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”:
“The Yanks are repairing the railroads,” said the man,” and are getting ready for another advance. They have reached Owl Creek Bridge, put it in order and built a stockade on the north bank. The commandment has issued an order, which is posted everywhere, declaring that any civilian caught interfering with the railroad, its bridges, tunnels or trains will be summarily hanged. I saw the order.” (Roberts 201).
While investigating the accuracy of this passage as it pertained to the war in legitimate reality, history reflects that this occurrence is a significant truth in the historical accounting of the Civil War as Edmund Wilson’s Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War recounts:
“He took part, under General Hazen, in the second day of the battle of Shiloh, advancing, in the teeth of terrific artillery, between Owl Creek and the Tennessee River” (618). Wilson further states, “A number of Bierce’s short stories were based on real incidents remembered from this battle, and he transposed the Owl Creek from Tennessee to Alabama and made use of a hanging that took place at this time for one the best of these stories “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” which was to turn out to be an epitome of Bierce’s strange doomed and constricted life” (618).
Once again Bierce shows his personal connection to his story with actual accurate occurrences that hold the test of time and prove historical balance.
Ambrose Bierce had allowed the war and its very own historical perspectives it provided to invade more than just his thoughts; it captured his heart. Robert A. Wiggins writes in his University of Minnesota “Pamphlets on American Writers No.37, Ambrose Bierce”,
“The Civil War opened another chapter important in Bierce’s early experiences. He was proud of his service in the Union Army, though he seems not to have chosen sides on the basis of issues or principle. He served with distinction and was proudly impressed by what he saw, for the theme of war runs throughout his life and writing up to his death in 1914 during the revolution in Mexico”(9).
This impacts the minds and lives of all who have come in contact with his journals and have had the honor to critique his works and have had the chance to document his life’s journey as it flows through the pens and onto the papers of their writings. Just the mention of Bierce’s name and having the pleasure of writing about his endeavors lends to the historical context of such great literature intertwining his writings with his personal life experiences.
There wouldn’t be Bierce without war and there wouldn’t be war without Bierce, this is the tone of chapter eight: The Poles of Violence in The American 1890’s Life and Times of a Lost Generation by Larzer Ziff which states, “In a land in which the murderous side of the war was an oral tradition only and in which toughness was tempered with tenderness, there was room for one specimen of unrelieved cynicism, one veteran of the war who would write only of its grotesqueries”(166-7).
In appendix B of his text Writing About Literature, Edgar V. Roberts says,
“The topical/historical critical approach stresses the relationship of literature to its historical period, and for this reason it has had a long life. Although much literature may be applicable to many places and times, much of it also directly reflects the intellectual and social worlds of the authors” (183).
By using the topical/historical critical approach explained by Roberts it lends to the validity and insight of both Wiggins and Ziff combined to connect the historical timeline, or bridge so to speak, of the life of Bierce with his short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, the year of 1891 and the Civil War. There is definitely a legitimate historical connection across this particular bridge through this specific time period and establishes Mr. Bierce as an author with critical historical accreditation.
During the Civil War and beyond, the railroad was the mainstream means of commute in the United States during the 19th century. Likewise in “The Occurrence of Owl Creek Bridge” it provided transportation of men and machinery for both sides, the rails connected the north with the south. Bridges were built across bodies of water to allow the railroad to flourish. In an attempt to destroy this line of commute and disable the northern enemies, the main character is persuaded to sabotage the Owl Creek Bridge crippling union forces for the confederacy as a retaliation of war. After being caught though, he is sentenced to hang publicly which was a normal procedure at the time and only solidifies the historical context. This character is a simple planter in the south. “Being a slave owner and like other slave owners a politician he was naturally an original secessionist and ardently devoted to the Southern cause” (Bierce 201). This is all added for the cultural attention to detail of 19th century southern life as well as resembles the life of the author.
The accuracy of describing the brass cannons, the repeating reloading rifles used by the uniformed soldiers who belonged to the Fort nearby and the mention of campsites on the southern territory where the slaves worked, all lend to the authenticity. As well, the writing of the fall of Corinth, the site of a battle won by the union in 1862 verifies the historical attributes. The main character, a southerner by birth with a soldier’s heart, jumps at the chance to do his part for his homeland by taking the challenge of dismantling the bridge for the Southern cause, a cause that meant more to southerners as a whole than life itself. Because he has that certain pride of culture and heritage, and being from a well known family, sold out to the cause believing that even God had a plan for the south and would not forsake it. That belief ended in the physical realm of life, in the flesh and memories, as the hanging and death of one southerner which is testimony to the way it was in the latter part of the 19th century.
In conclusion, when studied side by side and read together, the literature on the interpretation and study of Ambrose Bierce’s life and works, lends stability as well as credibility to his short stories as well as adding historical context to help in the understanding of what the author has intended, how the author may be involved and why the use of such periods in time can help reveal the historical importance of the period. Sometimes a little extra preparation in the study of the relationship of literature to its historical period allows for a well - educated reader. Further more, this connects the dots on the historical timeline and allows for the time period to be easily determined by simply bridging the gaps between the historical periods, which places the writings within its topical context needed to establish it, thus, revealing the historical importance and significance of all he lines of text.


Works Cited

Wiggins, Robert A. “Ambrose Bierce”. University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers. No.37. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1964. This pamphlet on Ambrose Bierce an American writer is full of valuable information into Bierce’s life in the rural farmlands of the Midwest and south frontier especially highlighting important insight to his relationship and involvement in the Civil War which holds much relevance to the story being written about.
Ziff, Larzer The American 1890’s: Life and Times of a Lost Generation. New York: The Viking
Press, 1966. Chapter eight of this book is very educational in informing the reader of Bierce’s writing style which will be very helpful to me as to interpreting the story. The description of expression and styling in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" will enlighten the reader of my paper in the comparisons mentioned in this chapter. Very educational.
Wilson, Edmund. Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1966. In adding this at the last minute I hope to refer to chapter XIV in the book that addresses Bierce’s fascination with the Civil War and death; by also comparing him to other writers of the era, I can give support to his style. “The insistence of Ambrose Bierce on discipline, law and order, and on the need for the control of the disorderly mob by an enlightened and well washed minority has today a familiar fascistic ring.”(Wilson, 628)


Roberts, Edgar V. Writing About Literature. Brief 11th edition. Upper Saddle River: Prentice
Hall, 2005 “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, 1891: (199-204). Roberts provides the framework and explanation of the relationships between literature and its historical period. By following the examples and instructions provided I will be able to construct an informational paper about the historical significance of Bierce and his story here written within a specific time period amongst the American Civil War in the 1890’s in which Bierce personally participated.

Posted by: john winans at April 23, 2009 08:29 AM

McLean 1
Bierce, Ambrose. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” Writing About Literature. Comp. Edgar V. Roberts. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006. 199-204.

Jessica McLean
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122-CA17
January 14, 2009
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”
Ambrose Bierce’s main idea behind the story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” was to promote responsible decision making. A successful planter, also a southern patriot, named Peyton Farquhar is being hanged for trying to tamper with a Union railroad bridge. When he first came up with the idea, he was excited and smiled when talking about his plan to a Federal scout (Bierce 201). Throughout the rest of the story, however, Bierce portrays Farquhar as being regretful of his decisions. Before the soldier hangs him, his last thoughts are focused on his wife and children (Bierce 200). This suggests that he is feeling sorry for abandoning his family to pursue a patriotic mission. The planter then daydreams about getting away from the soldiers and returning back home. Bierce says that the only thing keeping him going was thinking about his wife and kids while traveling through the woods (Bierce 204). As Farquhar is getting excited to take his wife in his arms, the readers find out that the plank has only just been released and he is now dead. The goal of this story was to make readers think twice about the decisions they are making and consider the consequences, like never seeing your family again.

Posted by: Jessica McLean at April 27, 2009 06:26 PM

Sarah Hatcher, Octavia Robinson, and Ryan Nowotnw
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA05
18 January 2013

Question 4: What comment on militaries formalities is Bierce is conveying in the following: "Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by the most familiar with him. In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference."

Answer: Because the men were in the military and had been around death plenty, they gave the man they were about to hang the respect of silence. It is in there, "code of military etiquette silence," (Bierce 30), which they followed for a simple civilian.

Posted by: Sarah Hatcher at January 18, 2013 10:17 AM

Alison Schucht, Colby Johnson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CAO5 Academic Writing II
18 January 2013

Question: What is the significance of the man's perception of his ticking watch?

Answer: Based on the context of the paragraph, the significance of the man's perception of his ticking watch is representing the last few moments of his life. As Peyton Fahrquhar is about to be hanged, he reminisces about his life for the last few seconds he has left: "He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children" (Bierce, 5). The ticking of his watch can also represent his heart beat because that is all he hears in his last moments of silence.

Posted by: Alison Schucht at January 18, 2013 10:20 AM

Kathryn White, Peter Mercadante, Rannell Smith
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA05
18 January 2013

9. Why is it significant that, “[c]ircumstances of an imperious nature, which is
unnecessary to relate here, had prevented him from taking service with the
gallant army . . . and he chafed under the inglorious restraint, longing for the
release of his energies, the larger life of the soldier, the opportunity for
distinction.” Look up the word “imperious” and note the multiple meanings. Do
you think Bierce had a specific reason for this particular word choice? If so, why?

It is significant that, “[c]ircumstances of an imperious nature, which is unnecessary to relate here, had prevented him from taking service with the gallant army . . . and he chafed under the inglorious restraint, longing for the release of his energies, the larger life of the soldier, the opportunity for distinction” because it explains why he felt the right, or need to do what he did. He has the heart of a soldier and the felt that he had many opportunities for distinction when the opportunity raised for him to take action. Imperious has multiple meanings, but a common theme between all of the definitions includes domination. Because of the multiple meanings of this word, it is obvious why Bierce chose these words in his story. One of the main reason Peyton Farquhar was being hung was because he was acting dominate by listing to the union scout who tricked him into trying to take over and burn owl creek bridge and stopping Yankee from advancing into his land. He thought he had little bit of a rank, but he was arrogant by listing to the union scout that tricked him. He thought he had little bit of a rank, but he was arrogant by listing to the union scout that tricked him.

Posted by: Kathryn White at January 20, 2013 05:09 PM

Terrance Browne
Layth
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122-CA05
18 January 2013

Question:Why was Farquhar captured? Why did the Federal scout lie?

Answer: Farquhar is a slave owner which means he is a "secessionist and ardently devoted to the southern cause"(Bierce,chapter 2)in other words he was a strong southern confederate who has heard by a grey cloud solider that the north or as the south like to call them "Yanks", are fixing the Owl Creek Bridge and at this moment there is no one around the bridge, because of Farquhar's love of the confederate and the south wants to go and destroy the bridge. But if he tries to do anything to the bridge he will be hanged. The federal scout lied because of the fact that he wanted to trap Farquhar into trying to destroy the bridge so he can watch him get hanged and take down a confederate supporter.

Posted by: Terrance Browne at January 20, 2013 06:48 PM

Ti’rani Rye
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
6 September 2013

Question: 10: “Why was Farquhar captured? Why did the Federal scout lie?”

Answer: It does not outright say why Farquhar was captured but in the second section he is enlightened from a Federal scout disguised as a Confederate soldier that there was an order issued from the Commandant that any “civilian caught interfering with the railroad, its bridges, tunnels, or trains will be summarily hanged.” (Bierce 6) Farquhar was a man that advocated for the Southern side in the war and wanted to play a role within it. He asks the disguised scout “Suppose a man- a civilian and student of hanging- should elude the picket post and perhaps get the better of the sentinel . . . what could he accomplish?” (Bierce 6) The author uses this question has a foreshadowing effect because it plainly shows how Farquhar was formulating a plan on how to catch the opposing men off guard by tampering with the construction or driftwood near the Owl Creek. Thus, concluding the reasoning of his fate as he is bound, dangling a few dozen feet above his death.
The Federal scout lied because he was in enemy territory. Though Farquhar seemed to be a farmer, he could have been a part of the Confederate Army as far as the Federal scout knew. He may have been posing as Confederate so to spread the news of the order the Commandant put out so the native people knew not to cross or go near the railroad. There is no definitive answer.

Posted by: Ti'rani Rye at September 6, 2013 09:14 PM

Rebecca Liller
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
8 September 2013

Question 15: Discuss the significance of this passage “… in a moment the visible world seemed to wheel slowly around, himself the pivotal point…” the movements of men on the bridge, “were grotesque and horrible, their forms gigantic.”

Answer: The significance of this quote in the passage has to do with Peyton’s imaginary escape from being hanged. In his vision, he has very strong senses. With Peyton’s strong senses, this makes his vision to the reader seem real, like he was actually there in that moment living his vision. “He was now in full possession of his physical senses. They were, indeed, preternaturally keen and alert.” (Bierce 9) The quote also has to do with an ugly reality breaking into a beautiful vision. This also is an example of foreshadowing, because the quote shows that something bad is going to happen to Peyton’s wonderful vision of him escaping the noose. The vision that Peyton was having never comes true and is broken like the neck of the man hanging below the Owl Creek Bridge.

Posted by: Rebecca Liller at September 8, 2013 06:07 PM

Rebecca Liller
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
8 September 2013

Question 15: Discuss the significance of this passage “… in a moment the visible world seemed to wheel slowly around, himself the pivotal point…” the movements of men on the bridge, “were grotesque and horrible, their forms gigantic.”

Answer: The significance of this quote in the passage has to do with Peyton’s imaginary escape from being hanged. In his vision, he has very strong senses. With Peyton’s strong senses, this makes his vision to the reader seem real, like he was actually there in that moment living his vision. “He was now in full possession of his physical senses. They were, indeed, preternaturally keen and alert.” (Bierce 9) The quote also has to do with an ugly reality breaking into a beautiful vision. This also is an example of foreshadowing, because the quote shows that something bad is going to happen to Peyton’s wonderful vision of him escaping the noose. The vision that Peyton was having never comes true and is broken like the neck of the man hanging below the Owl Creek Bridge.

Posted by: Rebecca Liller at September 8, 2013 06:24 PM

Michael Ossolinski
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
8 September 2013

Question:Why does Farquhar perceive the sand as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds?

Answer: He believed he was blessed when he touched the sand and when he felt the sand he felt that there was nothing more beautiful than the feeling of the sand.

Proof: p.11,#2 paragraph, lines 11-13

Posted by: Michael Ossolinski at September 8, 2013 06:54 PM

Kiara Michelle Burgos Diaz
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 08
8 September 2013

Question: The man on the bridge remains anonymous until the second part of the story, yet he is describe in great detail- even his thoughts. Why?

Answer: According to the author, in the first part of this story we can see in detail the preparation for the execution of a civilian. The respect and the way everything is set can bring us an idea about how the military traditions considered death sacred even if in the punishment of a crime. Throughout the story, the author is giving to the reader how things were arranged for this execution. When the author says, “. . . A single company of infantry in line, at “parade rest”, the butts of their rifles on the ground. The barrels inclining slightly backward against the right shoulder, the hands crossed upon the stock” (An Occurrence on Owl Creek Bridge 3); is explaining what and how significant is the event that is about to happen. The author empathize this importance of it when add, “In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference” (An Occurrence on Owl Creek Bridge 3). I think the author dedicate the first part of the story to explain what is going on, in a way to honour the way the Military tradition dictate. The description of the person who is going to be executed passed to a second term, and the reverence of death itself become more significant. When the author says, “Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect” (An Occurrence on Owl Creek Bridge 3), is punctuating this fact.

Posted by: Kiara M Burgos Diaz at September 8, 2013 10:01 PM

Madison Owens
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA08
8 September 2013

Question #20: ""Not so much as the barking of a dog suggested human habitation. The black bodies of the trees formed a straight wall on both sides, terminating on the horizon in a point, like a diagram in a lesson in perspective." What does this reveal?"

Answer: This quote from the passage reveals that Peyton Farquhar was on his final stretch to death. The absence of the barking dog shows that he no longer hears anything around him. The trees forming a straight path to the horizon give him no option but to continue on ahead to death, almost as if he's going into "the light". He has no other human beings to run to and this is the only path to follow. When I first read this segment of the passage, I took it literal, as in Peyton had a chance to escape from the soldiers attempting to kill him, but further on you read, "Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge" (Bierce 12). You see here that the path of trees leading him into the horizon was only a figment of his imagination as he breathed his last breath.

Posted by: Madison Owens at September 9, 2013 12:49 AM

Julieann Sauter
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA 08
9 September 2013

Question: What point is Bierce making by the sentinels’ indifference to the action at the center of the bridge and that they “might have been statues to adorn the bridge”?
Answer:
The point Bierce is trying to make here is that the sentinels do not move at all when there is any action happening. They see and recognize the fact that something is going on, but they do not let it phase them until the situation actually concerns them. Bierce is trying to say that these men are so good at not moving that they almost look like decorations along the bridge at which the man is currently being hanged. The way the captain nodded to the sergeant also shows how little things affect them as seen at the end of the first half of the story, “The captain nodded to the sergeant. The sergeant stepped aside” (Bierce 5). Most normal people feel some sort of emotion when they are about to kill somebody whether it be pleasure, anger, rage, or uncertainty. The sergeant did not show any type of emotion whatsoever.

Posted by: Julieann Sauter at September 9, 2013 01:22 AM

Maryerie Rojas
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 08
9 September 2013

Question 2: What is the significance of the sergeant being a deputy sheriff in civil life?

Answer: The sergeant being a deputy sheriff shows that he is familiar with being given an order. The captain gave him the order to step off of the board he was standing upon and did so (Bierce 5). The sergeant is also familiar with the consequences of disobeying the orders he was given. He knows that he plays an important role in the execution of Farquhar. The fact that he could have been a deputy sheriff demonstrates that he is significant in the hanging process. His rank of sergeant is supported by the role he might if had when he was in civil life. Unlike the other soldiers, aside from the captain, he knew what was happening and was also a part of performing the task. It is stated in the text that "It did not appear to be the duty of these two men to know what was occurring at the center of the bridge; they merely blockaded the two ends of the foot planking that traversed it" (Bierce 3).

Posted by: Maryerie Rojas at September 9, 2013 01:32 AM

Luis Martinez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Wiriting II CA08
13 September 2013

Question 24: Sum up the methods Bierce uses to build suspense.

“ An Occurrence at Owl Street Bridge” is a 9 page story on a man waiting to be hung, whose rope breaks and is sent down-stream in a river to eventually swim out, only to die when he reaches home. All of this takes nine pages to explain because Amrbose Bierce does a fantastic job at making the story suspenseful. By flooding the text with the main characters thoughts and surroundings we are immersed in the world of awaiting death.

Posted by: Luis Martinez at September 9, 2013 08:31 AM

Emma De Rhodo
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA08
9 September 2013
Question: Elaborate on the meaning of the imagery in the description of his home: gates, bright and beautiful, wide white walk - and his wife: looking fresh and cool, a smile of ineffable joy, attitude of matchless grace and dignity.
Answer: Peyton Farquhar, who was about thirty five years old, was being hanged by the Federal army(Bierce 3). However, he escaped because his rope broke and allowed him to fall into the water below him. Then, he was able to untie the rope around his hands and neck(Bierce 8). Bierce escaped many gunshots throughout the night, so it was a terribly exhausting and brutal journey towards his home(Bierce 9-10). His home’s description and his wife’s description are lovely images, contrasting with the dreary events that had taken place all night. Furthermore, Farquhar thinks of his wife, “Ah, how beautiful she is!,” and the author mentions that she has “a smile of ineffable joy” on her face(Bierce 12). This image of his wife is ironic though because she, in an indirect way, caused him to go out on his trip and suffer. In the beginning of the story, his wife gave water to a Federal soldier who told Mr. Farquhar information about the orders of the army. The gaining of this information was the reason Farquhar decided to head towards the bridge, and as a result of his actions, he was hanged(Bierce 6). Also, Farquhar thinks of his wife when he is being hanged because he believes is about to die(Bierce 4). Then, in the end of the story, he believes he has finally made it to the safety of his home. He views his wife, not knowing these would be his last thoughts and images, then he actually does die(Bierce 12).

Posted by: Emma De Rhodo at September 9, 2013 11:06 AM

Tyiasha Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
9 September 2013

Question: What is the significance of the man’s perception of his ticking watch?

Answer: The significance of the man's perception of his ticking watch was that he wanted so badly to just jump into the stream, swim back to the bank and be able to see his family again. He was scared. His perception of the ticking watch seemed as a wake up call for him, that he should be at home with his family. He says, " He unclosed his eyes and saw again the water below him. " 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 the woods and get away home" (Bierce 5). This quote from the story shows his fear of being shot and not being able to return to his family back home. The ticking of the watch was in fact a wake up call for him.

Posted by: Tyiasha Bailey at September 9, 2013 11:22 AM

Tori Thomas
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
6 September 2013


Question Number 23: Even though this story was originally published in 1891, it reveals a cinematic style. Review the story and find examples of the following techniques:

Answer:
Close-up Shots- When the man is hanging from the noose

Group Shots- When the soldiers were actually tying the man to the noose

Panoramic Shots- When the man is standing on the bridge looking over the water.

Fast Motion- The man falling from the bridge and being hanged

Slowed Motion- After swimming down the creek, the man runs to meet his wife.

Dream Sequences- The man was thinking about freeing himself but he never did. It was just a thought.

Sound Effects- Throughout the entire story are sound effects

Quick Cuts- During the mans thought process of freeing himself.

Moving Camera shots- Any scenes in this story can have moving camera shots.

Posted by: Tori Thomas at September 9, 2013 11:55 AM

Ryan MacCarthy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academci Writing II
9 September 2013


Question: How does Farquhar's ability to see the gray eye of the marksman on the bridge contribute to the meaning of the story?


Answer: Farquhar’s ability to see the gray eye of the marksman on the bridge contributes to the meaning of the story by that it is seemingly impossible to see the eyes from so far away on the bridge. It establishes somewhat of a relationship between Farquhar and the man who is attempting to murder him. The narrator explains, “that all famous marksmen had them” (6). Farquhar’s ability to see the gray eye contributes to his link with the man trying to kill him.

Posted by: Ryan MacCarthy at September 9, 2013 12:05 PM

Jeffrey Wingfield
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA08 Academic Writing II
8 September 2013
“In section II Bierce finally introduces Farquhar. Why does he place the detailed
description of Farquhar in the middle of the action as Farquhar falls between the
ties? How does this contribute to the suspense?”

By stopping at the climax of the story, and jumping back to where it began, Bierce prolongs an otherwise very short moment. This contributes to the suspense not only by interrupting the action and making the reader wait for a conclusion, but also by giving the reader a chance to sympathize with Farquhar as the event is happening.

Posted by: Jeffrey Wingfield at September 9, 2013 12:16 PM

Taina Valcarcel
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA08
September, 9, 2013
Q. Discuss the meaning of this quoted passage: “…encompassed in a luminous
cloud of which he was now merely the fiery heart, without material substance. .
.”
Answer: The meaning of this quote exemplifies how Farquhar felt when he was imagining his escape to his home. He felt alive and his heart beat fast and full of vigor. Not knowing that he was in a dream, imagining his own fantasy of escape to see his family again. Farquhar describes in the story, “Doubtless, despite his suffering, he had fallen asleep while walking, for now he sees another scene-perhaps he has nearly recovered from a delirium” (Ambrose, 12). This indicated that Farquhar felt like he was in a hazy dream, passing by his surroundings and not knowing where he went or when he got there. This quote meant to him that he felt alive, but knew unconsciously that he was dead.

Posted by: Taina Valcarcel at September 9, 2013 12:56 PM

Madison Owens and Tori Thomas (Group 2)
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA08
10 September 2013

Question #4: "What comment on military formalities is Bierce conveying in the following: "Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced he is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those familiar with him."?

Answer: The comment on military formalities conveyed in the quote above is that we should treat death like we would a solider. Bierce writes, "In the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference" (Bierce 3). When death approaches, we should just accept the reality and respectfully take it with no complaints. Just like in a time of war, when a soldier is captured or a mass number of men are killed, though they do not necessarily have a choice, armies tend to humble themselves and back down when they realize that they will soon be defeated. Throughout this story you see Peyton Farquhar do the opposite of what this quote implies. He fights to the finish for an alternate reality, rather than welcoming his fate of death by hanging. We see through vivid imagery that Farquhar goes against every form of "military etiquette" while attempting to rise against his enemy, death. Bierce describes Farquhar's plan of escape, "Farquhar dived-dived deeply as he could. The water roared in his ears like the voice of Niagra [. . .] rising again toward the surface, met shining bits of metal [. . .] Some of them touched him on the face and hands [. . .] One lodged between is collar and neck; it was uncomfortably warm and he snatched it out" (Bierce 10). Peyton Farquhar did not want to receive death with formal manifestations, even though it was overly familiar to him at that very moment in time. It is easy to relate the above quote to this short story because throughout the entire passage we see many examples of how Farquhar did not respect the death wish placed upon him.

Posted by: Madison Owens at September 10, 2013 02:38 PM

-----------------


*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.


~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at September 11, 2013 11:29 PM

Bianca T. Smith
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
26 Jan. 2014

Question #14: Why does Bierce compare the sounds of the insects to audible music?

Answer: Bierce compared the sounds of the insects to audible music because of the sounds that the insects were making around him."The humming of the gnats that danced above the eddies of the stream, the beating of the dragon flies' wings, the strokes of the water spiders' legs, like oars which had lifted their boat—all these made audible music" (Bierce 9).


Posted by: Bianca T. Smith at January 26, 2014 08:30 AM

Maxx Howarth
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA12
26 January 2014

QUESTION #3:
What point is Bierce making by the sentinels' indifference to the action at the center of the bridge and that they “might have been statues to adorn the bridge”?

ANSWER:
The point Bierce is making by the sentinels' indifference to the action at the center of the bridge and that they “might have been statues to adorn the bridge” is, in summary, implication that the sentinels' were only in attendance of the execution for looks, rather than necessity. This is obviously inferred through the description of the men as, "It did not appear to be the duty of these two men to know what was occurring at the center of the bridge; they merely blockaded the two ends of the foot planking that traversed it." In other words, they served no other purpose than to act as statues, blockading further foot planking during the execution.

Posted by: Maxx Howarth at January 26, 2014 08:04 PM

Gabriela Caminero
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12

Question #2:
What is the significance of the sergeant being a deputy sheriff in civil life?
Answer:
The significance of it was that by describing what his background was, being a deputy sheriff in civilian life, it humanizes him and it changes your point of view from seeing an execution done because of the result of a war to a murder which also gives you more sympathy to Farquhar's execution. By reading this quote, “Who in civil life may have been a deputy sheriff” (Bierce 3), You begin to see the situation differently.

Posted by: Gabriela Caminero at January 26, 2014 08:05 PM

Jeffrey Wingfield
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
26 January 2014

Why is it significant that, “[c]ircumstances of an imperious nature, which is
unnecessary to relate here, had prevented him from taking service with the
gallant army . . . and he chafed under the inglorious restraint, longing for the
release of his energies, the larger life of the soldier, the opportunity for
distinction.” Look up the word “imperious” and note the multiple meanings. Do
you think Bierce had a specific reason for this particular word choice? If so, why?

Bierce chooses to use the word “imperious” to describe the union soldier in order to help the reader view the situation from the confederate perspective. One definition for being “imperious” is holding power without proper claim or justification. A man says in the story, in reference to the Union Army, “any civilian caught interfering…will be summarily hanged.” (Bierce 6)

Posted by: Jeffrey Wingfield at January 26, 2014 08:23 PM

Sawyer Hand
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2014

Story 1
Question: What is the significance of the man’s perception of his ticking watch?

Answer: The significance of the way the man views the ticking of his watch is a big part of the short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. The man is about to be hung and all he can hear is the ticking of his watch. This ticking is sticking out to him so much because it is basically the seconds he has left to live. Quotes from the story such as “striking through the thought of his dear ones was sound he could neither ignore nor understand, a sharp, distinct, metallic percussion like the stroke of a blacksmith’s hammer upon the anvil; ….the intervals of silence grew progressively longer; the delays became maddening….
They hurt his hears like the thrusting of a knife;…he was hearing the sound of his ticking watch.” (Bierce 4). These quotes show the intensity the ticking watch was creating for the man. Each tick seemed to be longer because each tick was becoming more and more valuable. Each tick gave him a chance to think of his loved ones and a better place. Each tick meant he was still living.

Posted by: sawyer hand at January 26, 2014 09:30 PM

Sarah A Ellis
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2014

Question 10:
Why was Farquhar captured? Why did the Federal scout lie?

Answer:
Farquhar was captured for his crime for disturbing the railroad and bridge construction. Farquhar said that he would “elude the picket post” (Bierce 6) which was located at the “end of [Owl Creek] bridge” (Bierce 6). The man, which Mr. Farquhar was talking to, was posing as a Federal Scout. The fake Federal scout was posing as a scout to spy on Mr. Farquhar. The man was probably sent to check and see if Farquhar was one of the southerners that is rebelling against the northerners.

Posted by: Sarah Ellis at January 26, 2014 10:34 PM

Makenzie Holler
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
English 122 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2014

Question #12: Discuss the meaning of this quoted passage: "...encompassed in a luminous cloud of which he was now merely the fiery heart, without material substance..."

Answer: This quoted passage is simply a metaphor. The luminous cloud represents the chaos that he was currently undergoing. The fiery heart is portraying that Farquhar is overpowering the chaos and is breaking through the bright light that is surrounding him.

Posted by: Makenzie Holler at January 27, 2014 12:39 AM

Berlin Waters
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2014

Question #6:
Explain the imagery of the sluggish stream and the dancing driftwood.

Answer:
As Peyton Farquhar stands on the edge of the plank that holds him from his death with the rope around his neck his senses are heightened and even distorted. He observes his surroundings, analyzing each and every object. A piece of floating driftwood in the creek below him catches his eye as it flows with the current. Farquhar thinks to himself "How slowly it appeared to move!" (Bierce 4). His perception of the world around him seems to be moving in slow motion as he desperately tries to understand what is happening to him.

Posted by: Berlin Waters at January 27, 2014 12:44 AM

James Jessop
Dr. B. Lee. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
26 Jan 2014

Question #5 – Consider “Evidently this was no vulgar assassin. The liberal military code makes provision for hanging of many kinds of persons and gentlemen are not excluded”. What does this tell of Bierce’s view of the war?

Answer:
“No vulgar assassin” are key words for me here. They give off the idea of innocence, the idea that not everybody who goes to war wants to be there, nor do they want to partake in the actions in which they do. I believe these words are Bierce trying to show his opinion of war. That sometimes people do what they have to do, not because they want to do it. I believe that Bierce’s view of the war is negative, he doesn’t like the idea of war and feels for those who go out there like himself in the past.

Posted by: James Jessop at January 27, 2014 01:09 AM

Hubert Reuter
Dr .B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
27 January 2014

Question:
What comment on military formalities is Bierce conveying in the following:
“Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced he is to be received with
formal manifestations of respect, even by those familiar with him.”?
Answer:
Although most of An occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge maintains a consistent tone, there are a couple of moments, such as in this quotation from the end of the third page of the story, where a shift in tone appears. This quotation breaks the silent and formal way the Union forces prepare for Farquhar’s hanging. The troops take their duties seriously. Bierce claims that their hushed attention is a form of respect to the man they are about to execute.

Posted by: Hubert Reuter at January 27, 2014 09:58 AM

Traneisha Cunningham
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2013

QUESTION #13:
Discuss the meaning of the phrase "disobedient hands."

ANSWER:
The phrase "disobedient hands" means that Farquhar hands were not functioning the way he wanted as he tried functioning them.

"Put it back, put it back!" He thought he shouted this words to his hands.... (Bierce 8). His whole body was racked and wrenched with an insupportable anguish! But his disobedient hand gave no heed to the command (Bierce 9).

Farquhar hands were disobedient for the fact that they had lost feeling for being tied up with rope or maybe for the fact that he was dead and they no longer had feeling.

Posted by: Traneisha Cunningham at January 27, 2014 10:03 AM

Sergio Velazquez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Eng122 - ACADEMIC WRITING II CA12


You begin to sympathies with Farquar before Section II because right when he is thinking during his last moments of life, he begins to reminisce about his family. In the story it is said ,” he closes his eyes in order to fix his last thought upon his wife and children.” (Beirce). Also, they describe his appearance which suggest that his death is the result of becoming victim to the war. “and had a kindly have expected in one whose neck was in the hemp.”

Posted by: Sergio Velazquez at January 27, 2014 10:28 AM

Sarah A Ellis
Maxx Howarth
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2014

Question 25:
After analyzing the story, explain Bierce’s views of war and the military. How does he feel about it? Support your response with example from the text.

Answer:
In the story The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Bierce was sharing his views on the war and military. Throughout the story, Bierce displayed signs of being anti-war and anti-military. One of the ways he shows of being anti-military is displaying the Federal army’s soldiers about to kill a sample plantation owner, a civilian. The sentinels standing there had no really purpose but to just stand there and look intimidating to the man that was about to be hung(Bierce 3). Another reason why the military was so terrible was for displaying a hanged man for the general public to see as a warning for those that dare step against the Federal army(Bierce 12).

Posted by: Sarah Ellis at January 27, 2014 11:55 PM

Hubert Reuter and Jared
Dr .B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
28 January 2014

Question:
How does Farquhar's ability to see the gray eye of the marksman on the bridge
contribute to the meaning of the story?

Answer:
As Farquhar faces death, he slips not only outside time but also outside his physical body. The significance of Farquhar being able to see the grey of the marksmen’s eye is a hint from the author that he is not in his right mind and in an altered state of reality. For example, Farquhar notes a gap between the sound of the cannon firing and the arrival of the shot (Bierce 10). Similarly, he believes he can see the gray eye of the marksman through the rifle sights (Bierce 9). The unrealistic, imagined realm he enters in the third section of the story is indicated through these super human feats.

Posted by: Hubert Reuter and Jared at January 28, 2014 11:23 AM

Makenzie Holler, Berlin Waters
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
29 January 2014

Question #19:
“A strange, roseate light shone through the spaces among their trunks and the wind made in their branches the music of Aeolian harps” – the enchanting spot. To what is Bierce alluding?

Answer:
In this passage, it seems as if Bierce is alluding Peyton's entrance into heaven or some sort of after life. When first reading the story, this whole chapter doesn't seem to make much sense, but once learning the final outcome, it all starts to come together. Peyton's mind is wondering through the unknown trying to find a way out and Bierce shows this through some very descriptive imagery
(Bierce 11).

Posted by: Makenzie Holler at January 28, 2014 11:20 PM

Shelby Marrero & Bianca Smith
Dr. B.Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
29 Jan. 2014

Question #22:
Elaborate on the meaning of the imagery in the description of his home: gates,
bright and beautiful, wide white walk – and his wife: looking fresh and cool, a
smile of ineffable joy, attitude of matchless grace and dignity.

Answer:
This was the very last image he thought about right before he died. The meaning of the image is that he is reminiscing about his home and wife. He wants to be with her and just escape and get away from everything going on because in the story it says, "his wife, looking fresh and cool and sweet, steps down from the veranda to meet him. At the bottom of the steps she stands waiting,(Bierce 12)"

Posted by: Shelby Marrero & Bianca Smith at January 29, 2014 08:58 AM

Sergio Velazquez, Gabriela Caminero
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs

Eng122 Academic Writing CA12
29 January, 2014

Study/Discussion Questions for Ambrose Bierce’s

“An Occurrence on Owl Creek Bridge” (1891)20. “Not so much as the barking of a dog suggested human habitation. The black bodies of the trees formed a straight wall on both sides, terminating on the
horizon in a point, like a diagram in a lesson in perspective.” What does this

show?

What does this statement show in the story “Not so much as the barking of a dog suggested human habitation,”(Bierce 11) is that we have entered another realm where no life exist. This quote helps to paint a picture that one is transcending into the afterlife.

It is made known by the voice of a new narrator that our protagonist is dead “by showing his body swinging from a rope with a broken neck.”(Beirce12)This furthermore suggest that during his last moments, his mind began to play tricks on him, generating a false reality.

To conclude “great philosophers would use lies to tell the truth,” Farquhar's neck being snapped the milliseconds leading up to his, was indeed false imagery generated the mind struggling to cope, during in that false instance, we learn the true intent of the narrator's mind, and he just wanted to be at peace.

Posted by: Sergio Velazquez at January 29, 2014 09:36 AM

Samantha Witte
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
5 September 2014

QUESTION #12:
Describe the meaning of this quoted passage “…encompassed in a luminous cloud of which he was now merely the fiery heart, without material substance…”

ANSWER:
This particular quote served as foreshadowing or a small hint as to how the story was going to end. Peyton Farquhar was a middle-aged farmer with a lovely wife and kids and he had a great amount of Southern pride. He wanted to do everything he could to protect his hometown and “no service was too humble for him to perform in the aid of the South” (Bierce 6). He took one risk too many to prove his devotion and he found himself on the wrong end of a noose, in the hands of the Yankee soldiers. The whole story talks about how he got free and escaped the all of the shots the soldiers made at him. It even says he gets back to his wife and kids, only to reveal at the end that “Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge” (Bierce 6). The quote above describes that he was dead the whole time and only his “fiery heart” that was left. It was all in his mind before he passed and his spirit willed him to go on, yet in reality, his “material substance,” or body contained no life. This quote described his death, and hinted that the rest of the story was just going to be final thoughts.

Posted by: Samantha Witte at September 5, 2014 10:20 PM

Trejon Baynham

Dr. B Lee Hobbs

ENG. 122 Academic Writing II CA 07

7 September 2014

QUESTION:

Discuss the meaning of the phrase “disobedient hands.”

ANSWER:

Bierce uses the phrase “Disobedient hands” as a method of describing the conflict between Peyton Farquhar's -- the protagonist's -- physical exhaustion and the body's unconscious desire to survive. After freeing themselves from a rope, Farquhar's hands “beat the water vigorously” in an effort to help him surface from the river he had fallen in, in spite of the extreme anguish plaguing his body (Bierce 9).

Posted by: Trejon Baynham at September 7, 2014 04:02 PM

Rashard Knowles
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA07
7 September 2014

Question
2. What is the significance of the sergeant being a deputy sheriff in civil life?

Answer
The significance of the sergeant being a deputy sheriff in civil life is simply for events as such; a hanging. The sergeant will assure that the persons being executed are properly executed, they are the wright persons, and that they are being fairly dealt the proper punishment. According to Ambrose, as seen on page 4 lines 51 - 52. This states that the sergeant had checked and approved that the execution was successful.

Posted by: Rashard Knowles at September 7, 2014 10:03 PM


Danielle Kluender
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
7 September 2014

Question #16:
How does Farquhar’s ability to see the gray eye of the marksman on the bridge contribute to the meaning of the story?

Answer:
The color gray came about in the story many times. Farquhar’s eyes were described as “large and dark gray.” (Bierce 4). Also a “gray-clad soldier” (Bierce 6) made an appearance in the second part of the story when he approached Farquhar and his wife at their home. Even though, Farquhar’s eyes were describes as grey so was the eyes of the sentinel who was gazing through the sight of the rifle. (Bierce 9). This made Farquhar remember that he “read that gray eyes were the keenest and that all famous marksmen had them.” (Bierce 9). This shows a connection between Farquhar and the man that is eligibly trying to kill him.

Posted by: Danielle Kluender at September 8, 2014 01:27 AM

Alyssa Davis
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
7 September 2014

Question #10:
Why was Farquhar captured? Why did the Federal scout lie?
Answer:
Farquhar was captured because the Federal Scout believed that he was a potential threat because of the questions that Farquhar asked. When Mrs. Farquhar went to get the solider the drink of water he'd asked for, Farquhar asked him a few questions that obviously made him suspicious. (Bierce, 1988) Pg. 6 said 'how far is the Owl Creek bridge?'..' is there no force on this side of the creek?' and possibly the most suspicious of all the questions Farquhar asked is this one, 'suppose a man---a civilian and a student of hanging---should elude the picket post and perhaps get the better of the sentinel, what could he accomplish?' The end of the reading also says that the Federal Scout again passed the Farquhar plantation after nightfall that same night, this confirms that he was highly suspicious of Farquhar. I don't believe that Farquhar knew the soldier was a Federal Scout at the time of the conversation. Also, I don't believe that the Federal Scout lied, Farquhar’s capture was completely based on suspicion that Farquhar was a threat to the South. It is ironic however that Farquhar always thought himself to be supportive to the causes of the South. The top of page 6 tells us that 'he chafed under the inglorious restraint, longing for the release of his energies, the larger life of a soldier, the opportunity for distinction.’ Farquhar's capture and hanging was purely based assumptive suspicion of an over cautious Federal Scout.

Posted by: Alyssa Davis at September 8, 2014 10:33 AM

Roslyn Thomas
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II
8 September 2014

Question:
Why does Farquhar perceive the sand as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds?

Answer:
Because once Farquhar gets to dry land, his surroundings become idyllic and unfamiliar. Though he is a native of this part of Alabama, Farquhar doesn't recognize the forest. The plants, light, and music all seem to hint at a heavenly place.
“He dug his fingers into the sand, threw it over himself in handfuls and audibly blessed it. It looked like diamonds, rubies, emeralds; he could think of nothing beautiful which it did not resemble. The trees upon the bank were giant garden plants; he noted a definite order in their arrangement, inhaled the fragrance of their blooms. A strange roseate light shone through the spaces among their trunks and the wind made in their branches the music of Aeolian harps. He had not wish to perfect his escape he was content to remain in that enchanting spot until retaken.” (Bierce 6)

Posted by: Roslyn Thomas at September 8, 2014 11:34 AM

Zachary Gary
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
4 September 2014

Question #21:
What is the meaning of Farquhar's falling asleep while walking?

Answer:
The meaning of Farquhar’s falling asleep while walking scene is basically saying that he was dying the whole trip. He was starting to have pain everywhere, for example, he was having pain in his neck (Ambrose 12) and his hand was swollen (Ambrose 12). His eyes is heavily congested (Ambrose 12) and couldn’t close them. He was starting to lose all feeling in his body. It was a feeling as he was already dead and he was making his transformation to being dead. He was making his way to heaven.
“His neck was in plain and lifting his hand to it found it horribly swollen.”
“His eyes felt congested; he could no longer close them.”
“He stand at the gate of his own home.”
“As he pushed open the gate and passes up the wide white walk, he sees a flutter of female garments; his wife, looking fresh and cool and sweet, steps down from the veranda to meet him.”

Posted by: Zachary Gary at September 8, 2014 12:15 PM

Mickael Dodard
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing II CA07
8 September 2014

Question #6
Explain the imagery of the sluggish stream and the dancing driftwood.

Answer:
The imagery of the sluggish stream and the dancing driftwood symbolizes time. When the author wrote, “A piece of dancing driftwood caught his attention and his eyes followed it down the current. How slowly it appeared to move! What a sluggish stream!” (Bierce 1), he was mentioning of the time and how he realized how slow thing were happening.

Posted by: Mickael Dodard at September 8, 2014 01:01 PM

Justine Gonzalez
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA07
07 September 2014

Question #14:
Why does Bierce compare the sounds of the insects to audible music?

Answer:
Bierce compares the sounds of the insects to music because after almost dying everything sounds different. Every noise can be made into music. He compares the sounds to some kind of rhythm to him. "The humming of the gnats that danced above the eddies of the stream, the beating of the dragon, on files' wings, the strokes of the water spiders' legs, like oars which had lifted their boat-all these made audible music," (Bierce 9). He wanted to show the readers that his mind set was different and could hear everything differently because of his experience.

Posted by: Justine Gonzalez at September 8, 2014 01:11 PM

John Crane
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA07
8 September 2014
An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge
QUESTION #7: What is the significance of the man’s perception of his ticking watch?

ANSWER: The man had perceived his watch to be “as slow as the tolling of a death knell” (Bierce 4) which is significant because the man was dying and the sound was making him aware and alert to survive. The man was able to come up with a plan to remove the noose around his neck, and escape (Bierce 4) because of the ticking of the watch.

Posted by: John Crane at September 8, 2014 01:13 PM

Gianna Anderson
Dr. B. Lee. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA07
8 September 2014

Question #17:
What is the significance of Farquhar's ability to escape the gunfire?

Answer:
The significance of Farquhar's escape is that he's a prisoner and its not easy for any prisoner to get away from being shot at by multiple people. For instance while being shot at Farquhar dove into the dove water still being shot at, "As he rose to the surface, gasping for breath, he saw that he had been a long time under water; he was perceptibly farther downstream- nearer to safety." (Bierce, 10) For Farquar to be under water being shot at and he still got away it is very rare for that to happen.

Posted by: Gianna Anderson at September 8, 2014 01:15 PM

Shyra Bryant
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122
7 September 2014
#11 As the reader, when do you begin to sympathize Farquhar- before or after his introduction in section II? Why?
Answer:
As the reader I began to sympathize for Farquhar because he genuinely seemed like a good guy, and he seemed very dedicated. Farquhar seems as if he wants the best for himself and others. He states in section II “he felt the opportunity of distinction would come, as it would come in all wartime.” So therefore he did what he could. He also states, “No service was too humble for him to perform in the aid of the south.” To me that shows dedication and wellbeing. He did not give up on his works, and for that, I have sympathy for him.

Posted by: Shyra Bryant at September 8, 2014 02:23 PM

-----------------

*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment. ~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. B. Lee Hobbs at September 15, 2014 04:24 PM

Mallory Delay
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
26 January 2015

Question 18: Why does Farquhar perceive the sand as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds?

Answer: Farquhar perceives the sand as such jewels because to him, "he could think of nothing beautiful which it did not resemble." (Bierce 11) His escape from hanging and shot allows him to take in the beauty of what it around him. He is delirious from the whole event and "objects were represented by their colors only" (Bierce 11) in his mind. Being able to grab hold of that sand with his own hands was as valuable to him if he were holding diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.

Posted by: Mallory Delay at January 26, 2015 02:02 PM

Kathleen Sholl
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
26 January 15

An Occurrence on Owl Bridge Discussion Question

Question: Why was Farquhar captured? Why did the Federal scout lie?

Answer: Farquhar was captured in this short story because he was looking to sabotage the North’s efforts during the war. Farquhar stated, “suppose a man should elude the picket post” (Bierce 6). He was attempting to help the South interfere with the North’s plans. The soldier said to Farquhar, “it is now dry and would burn like tinder” (Bierce 7). The soldier inferred that Farquhar could set fire to the driftwood near the bridge to hinder the North’s efforts. Anyone who was found obstructing the North’s plans would be hung. The soldier that Farquhar spoke with who was supposedly aligned with the South was a Northern scout in disguise. In addition, the Federal scout lied because he was a part of the Northerners. His job was to see if any civilians were going against the orders of the North.

Posted by: Kathleen Sholl at January 26, 2015 04:43 PM

Aderias Ewing
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA12
26 January 2015
Discussion Questions
Question: Why was Farquhar captured? Why did the federal scout lie?

Peyton Farquhar was captured because he was a Confederate spy and sympathizer. He was devoted to the Southern cause. He had always went out of his way to help the Confederates, and this more than likely caught the attention of the Union. However, the Union probably had no concrete evidence that he was a spy, and therefore sent the Federal Scout to set Peyton up.
The disguised Federal scout was sent to tell Peyton about the Owl Creek Bridge. Peyton suggested that they demolish or sabotage the bridge, and the disguised Union scout tell him that he can burn it down. It is revealed when the scout leaves that he is a Union scout, and that anyone who is caught interfering with the bridge is subject to hanging. Farquhar is captured because he was trying to sabotage the bridge and because he was a Confederate sympathizer.
The scout lied because he was working for the Union, unbeknownst to Peyton Farquhar. He also lied in order to set Peyton up so that he was caught in the act of sabotaging the bridge and therefore subject to summary hanging because of his crimes, since anyone who was caught interfering with the bridge was to be hung.

Posted by: aderias at January 26, 2015 08:53 PM

Selena Hammie
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2015

“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”

Question #17: What is the significance of Farquhar’s ability to escape the gunfire?

The significance of Farquhar’s ability to escape the gunfire was that he was able to dive deep into the waters to dodge all the gun shots but in reality nobody can stay under water as long as he did and still be alive. (Bierce 10) He went through many great measures to stay alive, but he knew he was not able to dodge every gun shot. In the end, he was dead; “his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek Bridge.” (Bierce 12)

Posted by: Selena Hammie at January 27, 2015 05:54 PM

Emily Buckley
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2015

Question: Sum up the methods Bierce uses to build suspense.

Answer: Bierce uses several methods to create suspense. Bierce emphasises that the condemned man is heavily guarded, isolated from "civil life" (Bierce 3) and without hope of rescue "… nobody was in sight." (Bierce 3) At the beginning of the story, Bierce does not reveal the man's name, or why he is condemned, this keeps the readers on an edge wondering what the man could have done to deserve his fate. Bierce also makes the man sympathetic. He is a young man who has a wife and children to return home too. Bierce makes the readers be sympathetic and create an emotional attachment to the man "He closed his eyes in order to fix his last thoughts upon his wife and children." (Bierce 4) He also paints the condemned man as an innocent gentleman even before readers know what he has done "… A kindly expression that one would hardly have expected in one whose neck was in the hemp. Evidently this was no vulgar assassin. The liberal military code makes provision for hanging many kinds of persons, and gentlemen are not excluded." (Bierce 4) Bierce refrains from giving out critical information during the confrontation; instead he finishes the scene with the troubling truth. He also uses imagery to make the reader feel like they are involved in the situation, but unable to change anything to help the condemned man.

Posted by: Emily Buckley at January 27, 2015 07:46 PM

Amanda Cannon
Dr. Hobbs
ENC 122 Academic Writing II CA12
28 January 2015

The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
Question #14: Why does Bierce compare the sounds of the insects to audible music?
Answer: The story starts by describing how Peyton Farquhar hanging was being prepared. As the planks were removed from beneath his feet, Peyton fell and became unconscious. Seconds later, the rope snapped causing him to fall into the stream. When Peyton surfaced to the top of the water, his senses became “preternaturally keen, and alert” (Bierce 9). He was able to hear the minuscule details of every sound, “The humming of the gnats that danced above the eddies of the stream, the beating of the dragon flies’ wings, the strokes of the water spiders’ legs…-all these made audible music” (Bierce 9).

Posted by: Amanda Cannon at January 27, 2015 09:09 PM

Jan Urbaniak
Dr. Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA12
January 26, 2015
Question: 1. The man on the bridge remains anonymous until the second part of the story, yet he is described in great detail – even his thoughts. Why?

Answer: He was showed as a character from “eyes” as someone else could see him “A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama…” (Bierce 3), and as long as the action is slow, and there is no point to show his minds author is not showing them. When his feelings and thoughts are the most important part of the story, they are showed. “ He though he shouted this words to his hands” (Bierce 8)

Posted by: Jan Urbaniak at January 27, 2015 11:16 PM

Rachel Addington
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2015

Question: After analyzing this story, explain why Beirce’s views of war and the military. How does he feel about it? Support your response with examples from the text.

Answer: Bierce is not a fan of war or the military. We come to realize this to be true in two parts of the story. We find out that he is not a supporter of war when we find out Farquhar is actually dead. This is because his death is showing that even civilians suffer the hardships of war. Despite his being a civilian, Farquhar still has to suffer the consequences, death, of military law. We find out he is not a fan of the military when he uses a member of the military to trick Farquhar into trying to damage the bridge. The soldier said the only force on this side of the creek was "only a picket post half a mile out, on the railroad, and a single sentinel at this end of the bridge." (6) He also made it seem as though Farquhar could damage the bridge by saying "that there was a lot of driftwood under the bridge that "is now dry and would burn like tinder." (7) With these sections of the story it is reasonable to conclude that Ambrose Bierce is not a fan of the military or war.

Posted by: Rachel Addington at January 27, 2015 11:29 PM

Charis Lavoie
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2015

Question: Discuss the meaning of this quoted passage: “…encompassed in a luminous cloud of which he was now merely the fiery heart, without material substance . . .”
Answer: At this point, Peyton Farquhar’s last hold on life has been removed, and he is about to plunge into the creek below. Mr. Farquhar no longer feels like himself; he seems like an entity floating over this inevitable end (Bierce 8).

Posted by: Charis Lavoie at January 27, 2015 11:58 PM

Vallinique Martin
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2015

Question: What is the significance of the man’s perception of his ticking watch?

Answer: Peyton Farquhar is out of time when the story begins and the ticking watch symbolizes the seconds ticking down to his death. The ticking watch shows him that he cannot control the time that is passing. The action in the story actually happens in the matter of seconds, but he does not view time how the reader does. “Striking through the thought of his dear ones was sound which he could neither ignore nor understand, a sharp, distinct, metallic percussion like the stroke of a blacksmith's hammer upon the anvil; it had the same ringing quality. He wondered what it was, and whether immeasurably distant or nearby—it seemed both. Its recurrence was regular, but as slow as the tolling of a death knell. He awaited each new stroke with impatience and—he knew not why—apprehension the intervals of silence grew progressively longer; the delays became maddening. With their greater infrequency, the sounds increased in strength and sharpness. They hurt his ear like the thrust of a knife; he feared he would shriek. What he heard was the ticking of his watch.” (Bierce 3-4)

Posted by: Vallinique Martin at January 28, 2015 12:02 AM

Kaitlin Murphy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA1
27 January 2015

Question: What is the meaning of Farquhar's falling asleep while walking?

Answer: "Doubtless, despite his suffering, he had fallen asleep while walking, for now he sees another scene..." (Bierce 12). After escaping from the soldiers on Owl Creek bridge and traveling 30 miles through the woods to get back home to his wife and children, Peyton finally came to recognize the familiar part of his town. Here is where he seems to notice it being very quiet and then everything went black as if he "fell asleep" walking home where he was awakened to the sight of his wife in front of their house. At this point, Peyton now is blinded by light and then is covered in darkness again. "Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung entry from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge (Bierce 12). The meaning of Peyton's "falling asleep" while walking was just his "dream" before dying of him actually escaping and being able to return home to his family safely.

Posted by: Kaitlin Murphy at January 28, 2015 12:04 AM

Amber Dunlap
Dr. Hobbs
ENG. 122 Academic Writing II CAO 12
27 January 2015

Question: #16
How does Farquhar’s ability to see the gray eye of the marksman on the bridge contribute to the meaning of the story?
Answer:
Farguhar believes he can see the gray eye of the marksman through the rifle sights. At this time, the landscape is transformed into different colored horizontal bands. Throughout the story, this suggests not only the lack of sound judgment Farquhar showed in ending up in this predicament in the first place, but also the distortion of reality that Bierce skillfully portrays. The color gray in the story is for dividing friend from foe. Gray indicates the Confederacy and the cause to which Farquhar decides sacrifices himself.

Posted by: Amber Dunlap at January 28, 2015 01:44 AM

Rously Paul
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
28 January 2015


Question: Discuss the meaning of the phrase “disobedient hands.”

Answer: In “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” after a brief encounter with a Federal scout on the status of the Yankee campaign, informing Peyton and his wife of consequences of those found supporting the Yankee front warning execution by hanging underwater. The story then jumps to Peyton Fahrquhar in the cold stream drowning while being hanged. During this ordeal, Peyton gives a rundown of his experience the embrace of death although his “disobedient hands” refuse to allow him to go peacefully. (Page 9 paragraph 1) In this passage, Peyton’s rebellious hands, are his will to survive taking over his logical thinking he mentions, “The intellectual part of his nature was effaced” (Page 8 paragraph 1)

Posted by: Rously Paul at January 28, 2015 09:16 AM

Victoria Markou
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 12
28 January 2015

Question 11: As the reader, when do you begin to sympathize with Farquhar – before or after his introduction in section II? Why?

Answer: The reader sympathizes more with Farquhar after his introduction because it seems like he is just going to get a quick and sudden death. As the story moves forward, Farquhar escapes and makes a perilous journey home. Feelings of pity rush over the reader as they read about his physical pain, “Keen, poignant agonies seemed to shoot from his neck downward through every fiber of his body and limbs” (Bierce 8). The reader then feels sorrow when the only thing getting him through this hell is his family, “By nightfall he was fatigued, footsore, famishing. The thought of his wife and children urged him on” (Bierce 11). The reader is led on to believe there will be a happy ending, “As he pushes open the gate and passes up the wide white walk, he sees a flutter of female garments; his wife, looking fresh and cool and sweet, steps down from the veranda to meet him” (Bierce 12). Shock sets in when the reader realizes it was all a dream and Farquhar is actually hanged to his death, Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge” (Bierce 12 ).

Posted by: Victoria Markou at January 28, 2015 10:08 AM

Alison Colon
Dr.Hobbs
Eng 121 Academic Writing II CA12
27 January 2015

Question 2 : What is the significance of the sergeant being a deputy sheriff in civil life?
Answer : I believe the relevance of stating that the sergeant “was a deputy sheriff in civil life” was a way of showing us how he was a normal civilian once to and now he’s a component in the death of another civilian. In the text it states, “upon the temporary platform was an officer in the uniform of his rank, armed. He was a captain.”(Bierce 3) the way in which the author chose to describe the captain was very lack-lustered. It made the captain seem like an ordinary man who just wore the uniform of the captain rather then describing the captain , his uniform , or his duties. In my opinion that shows us how ordinary these high ranking officers are. It showed us that along with the captain , the sergeant was once an ordinary civilian as well which is why they reference his civilian life-job as well. Further along in the story the author begins to describe the thoughts of the sergeant (Bierce 6 and 8) in a little greater detail which demonstrated to us how the sergeant felt towards being a advocate of war. The war killed so many people they kept recruiting and forcing people to join and I feel that mentioning the sergeants civil life occupation was the authors way of telling us that the sergeant was really just another civilian who was forced to join the war . In my opinion it was also a glimpse of how long the sergeant has been around this kind of live style and what his train of thought must be like.

Posted by: Alison Colon at January 28, 2015 10:40 AM

Jacie Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
5 September 2015

Question #21

Question: What is the meaning of Farquhar's falling asleep while walking?

Answer: As we find out at the end of the story, Farquhar has not escaped his execution. “Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge” (Bierce 12). Farquhar perceived himself as falling asleep to explain away the fact that he couldn’t feel the ground beneath his feet as he had been rationalizing other symptoms of the hang. “His neck was in pain and lifting his hand to it found it horribly swollen. He knew that it had a circle of black where the rope had bruised it. His eyes felt congested; he could no longer close them. His tongue was swollen with thirst; he relieved its fever by thrusting it forward rom between his teeth into the cold air. How softly the turf had carpeted the untraveled avenue—he could no longer feel the roadway beneath his feet! Doubtless, despite his suffering, he had fallen asleep while walking…” (Bierce 12).

Posted by: Jacie Dieffenwierth at September 5, 2015 02:48 PM

Sidnee Yaeger
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
5 September 2015

Question: As the reader, when do you begin to sympathize with Farquhar – before or after his introduction in section II? Why?

Answer: As a reader, I began to sympathize with Farquhar in section I. The short story begins with “A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man’s hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck." (Bierce 3). I do not yet know who he is and why he is being hanged, but I certainly did feel sympathy for him.

Posted by: Sidnee Yaeger at September 5, 2015 04:57 PM

Lois Martinez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA03
6 September 2015


Question: The man on the bridge remains anonymous until the second part of the story, yet he is described in great detail—even his thoughts. Why?

Answer: The author keeps the protagonist anonymous to explain his background, surroundings, and leading events that cause the protagonist to be hanged, therefore, building tension and suspense for the reader. Bierce's An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge was narrated from end to beginning purposely to paint a detailed picture of the impossible-to-escape execution, and also to provide hints of the character. The writer says that “his eyes were large and gray, and had a kindly expression which one would hardly have expected in one whose neck was in the hemp (Bierce 4)." The previous quote is the first hint for the reader to know who the character is—beyond physical description. The behavior of a typical criminal condemned to the rope is more belligerent than the behavior of the protagonist of the story; this suspense makes the reader interested in the story. However, after the second part of the story the author reveal the past of Peyton Farquhar. Bierce narrates in this order because he connects the character's full description to how he was captured and eventually stripped of his life.

Posted by: Lois Martinez at September 6, 2015 04:59 PM

Brad McAvoy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA-09

Question # 12

Question: Discuss meaning “. . . encompassed in luminous cloud of which he was now merely the fiery heart, without material substance . . .”

Answer: The hangman formulated a knot to which it was not a complete sturdy knot. Consequently, the person that was hung, Peyton Farquhar, got extended in mid-air by a rope. He kept swinging back and forth “. . . he swung of unthinkable arcs of oscillation, like a vast pendulum.” (Bierce 8) This bought him time to still live in a thought about his wife and child. But, every time he thought of them he realized that he was going to die within seconds. He was a hanging person with passion for his family and seconds within death.

Posted by: Brad McAvoy at September 6, 2015 09:11 PM

Shyiem-Akiem Brown
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
9 September 2015

Question: Discuss the meaning of the phrase “disobedient hands”.

Answer: “But his disobedient hands gave no heed to the command” (Bierce 9), this line suggested that Farquhar had no control over his physical abilities. As soon as he freed himself from the noose around his neck his entire body was wracked with anguish (Bierce 9). He tried his best to relieve himself of the pain by wanting to put back the noose around his neck, but his brain would just not operate. Instead, his hands just beat the water rapidly in a downward fashion to bring him to the surface (Bierce 9). The line that reads “He was now in possession of his physical senses” (Bierce 9), also solidifies the fact that he had lost control over his body’s physical capabilities at a certain point.

Posted by: Shyiem-Akiem Brown at September 7, 2015 05:23 PM


Hana Lee
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
7 September 2015

“He heard a second report and saw one of the sentinels with his rifle at his shoulder, a light cloud of blue smoke rising from the muzzle.” (9)
“Company...! Attention...! Shoulder arms...! Ready...! Aim…! Fire…!” Farquhar dived --- dived as deeply as he could. The water roared in his ears like the voice of Niagara, yet he heard the dull thunder of the volley and, rising again toward the surface, met shining bits of metal, singularly flattened, and oscillating slowly downward.”
“As he rose to the surface, gasping for breath, he saw that he had been a long time under water; he was perceptibly farther downstream---nearer to safety. The soldiers had almost finished reloading; the metal ramrods flashed all at once in the sunshine as they were drawn from the barrels, turned in the air, and thrust into their sockets. The two sentinels fired again, independently and ineffectually. The hunted man saw all this over his shoulder; he was now swimming vigorously with the current. His brain was as energetic as his arms and legs; he thought with the rapidity of lightning: “The officer,” he reasoned, “will not make that martinet’s error a second time. It is as easy to dodge a volley as a single shot. He has probably already given the command to fire at will. God help me, I cannot dodge them all!” (10)


Question: What is the significance of Farquhar’s ability to escape the gunfire?

Answer: The importance of Farquhar’s capacity to avoid the gunfire is that he used his wits and instincts to dodge them all using all of his ability doing so. As said on page 10, he dived into the water to avoid the majority of the gunfire. As he used the water to his advantage, he was able to dodge them all and was even swimming vigorously. That is what made his ability to escape the gunfire significant.

Posted by: Hana Lee at September 7, 2015 07:26 PM

Maria Gonzalez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
8 September 2015

Question: After analyzing this story, explain Bierce's views of war and the military. How does he feel about it? Support your response with examples from the text.

Answer: After reading "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," I find that Ambrose Bierce has much knowledge of the war and military but does not favor it. Peyton Farquhar is a planter who is being executed for interfering with military plans. Bierce's disagreement with the execution is seen when just before the sergeant steps off the platform to let Farquhar fall, Farquhar imagines being able to "get away home" (Bierce 5). In the third part of the story, the same disagreement of the happening is apparent when Farquhar imagines a very lengthy and descriptive way of his escape. When he arrives home, "his wife, looking fresh and cool and sweet, steps down from the veranda to meet him" (Bierce 12). Just as he is about to reach her, a "blinding white light blazes all about him with a sound like the shock of a cannon," and prevents him from doing so (Bierce 12). Alas, Farquhar does not escape, as it was only a sort of vision he has between when the soldier steps off the plank to when the noose breaks his neck. Because Bierce goes on to describe Farquhar's escape, it can be inferred that Bierce disagrees with war and the military executions.

Posted by: Maria Gonzalez at September 8, 2015 11:41 AM

Brittany Cordero
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
08 September 2015

Question: Why was Farquhar captured? Why did the Federal scout lie?
Answer: Farquhar was captured because he tried to set fire to Owl Creek Bridge. The Federal scout lied to Farquhar because he wanted someone else to stop the Southern soldiers. He essentially used Farquhar to do his dirty work for him. The Federal scout told him about driftwood near the bridge which would “’...burn like tinder’” in order to give Farquhar an idea of what he could do in order to help (Bierce 7).

Posted by: Brittany Cordero at September 8, 2015 06:24 PM

Michael Mooney
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 121 Academic Writing II CA09
8 September 2015

Question: Discuss the significance of this passage: “ . . . in a moment the visible world
seemed to wheel slowly around, himself the pivotal point, . . .” The movements
of the men on the bridge, “were grotesque and horrible, their forms gigantic.”

Answer: The phrase “…in a moment the visible world seemed to wheel slowly around, himself the pivotal point” (Bierce 9) can be interpreted in several different ways. In one sense, the phrase reflects Farquhar’s change of perspective when he realizes the imminent danger of the soldiers on the bridge. Before the phrase occurs, Farquhar is mesmerized by the beauty of the world around him. As he turns around, he is greeted by the “horrible, grotesque” forms on the bridge behind him, the soldiers who were going to hang him. In a moment, the hypnotic beauty had been replaced with the reminders of the Civil War. Farquhar’s perception of the men in their monstrous forms is significant of his personal views on these men. They are enemies not only to himself, but his people, and his way of life. The Union was close to his home, and growing ever closer, as put by the disguised Federal Scout during his visit to the Farquhar plantation, "The Yanks are repairing the railroads…. and are getting ready for another advance. They have reached the Owl Creek bridge, put it in order and built a stockade on the north bank” (Bierce 6). Had Farquhar not died at Owl Creek Bridge he would have been living under the Union flag once more, something that he likely feared.

Posted by: Michael Mooney at September 8, 2015 07:52 PM

Necdet Gurkan
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
8 September 2015

Answer:

Close-up shots: He look a moment at his “unsteadfast footing,” then let his gaze wander to the swirling water of the stream racing madly beneath his feet.
Group shots: The preparations being complete, the two private soldiers stepped aside and each drew away the plank upon which he had been standing.
Panoramic shots: Midway up the slope between the bridge and fort were the spectators- single company of infantry in line
Fast Motion: As Peyton Farquhar fell straight downward through the bridge he lost consciousness and as one already dead.
Dream Sequences: From this state, he awakened- age later, it seemed to him- by the pain of a sharp pressure upon his throat, followed by a sense of suffocation.
Sound effects: He felt the ripples upon his face and their separate sound as they struck.
Quick cuts: (I searched it to figure out what quick cuts are, but I could not understand)
Moving camera shots: He saw now swimming vigorously with the current.

Posted by: Necdet Gurkan at September 8, 2015 08:55 PM

Anayah McKenzie
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
September 8, 2015

Question: Consider this passage: “Evidently this was no vulgar assassin. The liberal military code makes provision for hanging many kinds of persons, and gentlemen are not excluded.” What does this tell us about Bierce’s view of the military?

“Evidently this was no vulgar assassin. The liberal military code makes provision for hanging many kinds of persons, and gentlemen are not excluded. (Bierce 4)” Tells us that Bierce’s view of the military was they were relentless, brutal, and did not care who you were. If it was found that you did something the military was not proud of, they would not discriminate to put you to death.

Posted by: Anayah McKenzie at September 8, 2015 09:31 PM

Conner Knaresboro
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic writing II CA09
8 September 2015

Question: “Not so much as the barking of a dog suggested human habitation. The black bodies of the trees formed a straight wall on both sides, terminating on the horizon in a point, like a diagram in a lesson in perspective.” What does this reveal?

Answer: This quote reveals that he had gotten away from the soldiers and that he was finding his way back home, even though he was hurt he was dazed and thought that he had made it back to the south. The quote also reveals that he was just like his ancestors and owned slaves.

Posted by: Conner Knaresboro at September 8, 2015 10:07 PM

Zach Pottle
Professor Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
8 September 2015

Question:

What is the meaning of Farquhar’s falling asleep while walking?

Answer:

When Farquhar falls asleep while walking home, the author is telling the reader that he has died. The meaning behind this can be up for interpretation, but the main idea the author is trying to get across is apparent. For example, as Farquhar is walking home Bierce says “Doubtless, despite his suffering, he had fallen asleep while walking., for now he sees another scene-perhaps he has merely recovered from a delirium” (Bierce 12). Bierce is trying to tell the reader that Farquhar’s struggles in walking home are the struggles of his last moments alive as he is being hanged.

Posted by: Zachary Pottle at September 9, 2015 12:56 AM

Zekeriya Kayaselcuk

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 09

6 September 2015


Question: Why does Bierce compare the sounds of the insects to audible music?


Answer: The reason Bierce compares the sounds of the insects to audible music is because Peyton Farquhar was in a shock from all that was in occurrence. His senses were enhanced due to the situation at hand; he had to avoid the danger. Once Peyton avoided the enemies, Peyton ran through a forest, he did not recognize. At this point, his body felt constricted since he was nearing death by choking and drowning. "His neck ached horribly; his brain was on fire, his heart, which had been fluttering faintly, gave a great leap, trying to force itself out at his mouth." (Bierce pg. 9). Bierce wanted the reader to feel the character's sensation by including all these highly detailed sounds throughout the passage. Peyton was very cautious while roaming through the forest, but due to his near to death experience, he was able to take full power of his physical senses. "He was now in full possession of his physical senses. They were, indeed, preternaturally keen and alert." (Bierce pg. 9). Most of this passage included different detailed sounds. Bierce wanted to keep the reader in a rush of action and excitement because this story was related to the military life.

Posted by: Zekeriya Kayselcuk at September 9, 2015 09:33 AM

Peyton Farrier
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
09 September 2015

Question: What is the significance of the man’s perception of his ticking watch?

Answer: He started to think about things that kept distracting him from where he was until he finally became conscious about his surroundings and the things that were bothering him. While listening to the sounds he couldn't ignore it anymore it was starting to distract him. "The intervals of silence grew progressively longer; the delays became maddening. With their greater infrequency the sounds increased in strength and sharpness. The hurt his ears like the trust of a knife; he feared he would shriek. What he heard was the ticking of his watch." (Bierce 4)

Posted by: Peyton Farrier at September 9, 2015 03:05 PM

Jorge Braham
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-122 Academic Writing CA09
9 September 2015


Question :
Sum up the methods Bierce uses to build suspense.

Answer :
Ambrose Bierce begins the story in a set way to guide you to what might happen and just when you think you are following he throws in a flashback to kind of fool you. He keeps the readers on their toes. Ambrose also used to literary tool Foreshadowing which actually is the main way how he made the story so suspenseful. He talks about how he was on the bridge and he had wished that he could escape and just fall into the water. "If I could free my hands, 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." (Bierce 9)

Posted by: Jorge Braham at September 9, 2015 08:18 PM

Lois Martinez
Zach Pottle
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA03
9 September 2015


Question: What is the meaning of Farquhar’s falling asleep while walking?

Answer: Farquhar's falling asleep while sleep suggests that the character is losing his few moments of breaths. By this section of the text, the reader does not know that the character is dead; therefore, the author writes hidden clues to foreshadow the fate of the miserable man. For example, the narrator tells his audience that when Peyton Farquhar found the road that led him home, he was feeling a terrible pain in his neck and when he touched it, he found it terribly swollen (Bierce 12). However, a clearer evidence of Farquhar's final moments of breath was when Bierce narrated, "Doubtless, in spite of his suffering, he had fallen asleep while walking, for now he sees another scene—perhaps he has merely recovered from a delirium (Bierce 12)." The author expresses how his character fell asleep, symbolizing death, and then the recovery from a delirium, meaning that no longer will he feel pain, for he has passed away.

Posted by: Lois Martinez at September 9, 2015 08:26 PM

Zeida Alvarez
Dr.Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA03
10 September 2015

Question: Discuss the meaning of the phrase “disobedient hands.”

Answer: I believe that the meaning of "disobedient hands" is that Farquhar's hands are having trouble with doing what he needs them to do. I feel like Farquhar was experiencing extreme pain all over his body both mentally and physically mainly during his, "daydream." In the story, it says, "He thought he shouted these words to his hands, for the undoing of the noose had been succeeded by the direst pang that he had yet experienced. His neck ached horribly; his brain was on fire; his heart, which had been fluttering faintly, gave a great leap, trying to force itself out at his mouth. His whole body was racked and wrenched with an insupportable anguish! But his disobedient hands gave no heed to the command. They beat the water vigorously with quick, downward strokes, forcing him to the surface. He felt his head emerge; his eyes were blinded by the sunlight; his chest expanded convulsively, and with a supreme and crowning agony his lungs engulfed a great draught of air, which instantly he expelled in a shriek!" (Bierce 8,9). I believe this shows how himself and his "daydream" was filled with panic, fear, and desperation during his "escape." Because of these emotions, he may have not have control over his body and mind thus making him have, "disobedient hands."

Posted by: Zeida Alvarez at September 10, 2015 12:03 PM

Alexis Clayton and Mathew Beebe
Doctor Hobbs
ENG 122 CA3 Academic Writing 2
10 September 2015

Question: What is the significance of Farquhar's ability to escape the gunfire?

Answer: The significance to Farquhar's ability to escape and avoid the gunfire is simply he wanted to live, be free, and see his wife. At the end of the story, he describes "how beautiful she is" ( Bierce 12) and paints a picture of just her and how much he loves her. But as he stretched out he arms to clasp her he feels a blow on his neck and he dies. It likes his life flashed before his eyes and saw the last important things to him which was to live and see his wife.

Posted by: Alexis Clayton at September 10, 2015 04:53 PM

Group 6; Lady and Tannor
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 academic writing II CA03
10 September 2015


“He suddenly hears a sharp, metallic ringing, which stands distant and close by. The sound turns out to be the ticking of his watch [...] swimming to freedom and his home, safely located outside enemy lines.’”

Question: what is the significance of the man’s perception of his ticking watch?

Answer: the ticking resembles the seconds remaining before his death. With each new tick the silence around him was overwhelmed by the ticking. He hopes a miracle would happen that would save him and he could escape back to his home, wife, and kids.

Posted by: lady hernandez at September 10, 2015 04:55 PM

Group 4)Jaclyn Taylor, Emma Duncan
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic writing 11 CA03
9 September 2015

Question: 10) Why was Farquhar captured? Why did the Federal scout lie?

Answer: Farquar is about to be hanged from a railroad bridge in Alabama. But when he steps between the planks, the rope breaks and he tumbles into the river below. Or does he? We know that Farquar is a wealthy Alabama plantation owner who was attempting to set fire to the Owl Creek Bridge, but before he can do so, he is caught and tried as a spy. He is sentenced to be hanged, but it appears to the reader that Farquar has escaped and returned home to his family. For why the scout lied the he was dressed like a Confederate soldier, stops at the Farquhar plantation, Peyton asks for news about the front lines of the war. The scout tells him that the Northern forces have secured Owl Creek bridge and built a stockade, suggesting that the site will be a staging area for further invasion into Southern territory. The scout continues, giving Peyton this important information: The commandant has issued an order, which is posted everywhere, declaring that any civilian caught interfering with the railroad, its bridges, tunnels or trains will be summarily hanged. I saw the order. To which Farquar went to go burn the bridge was caught and then sentenced to hang.

Posted by: Group 4 at September 10, 2015 09:28 PM

Johnny Nguyen & Sabrina McIntyre
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA03
9 September 2015

Question: Explain the imagery of the sluggish stream and the dancing driftwood.

Answer: In the story “In the Occurrence of Owl Creek”, the man being hung is currently dying a slow death and aware of all of his surroundings and slowly passing of time. For example, in the story on page 4, it states “a piece of dancing driftwood caught his attention and his eyes followed it down the current. How slowly it appeared to move! What a sluggish stream!” He is realizing that he has a short amount of time until he actually dies and the driftwood resembles the man dying slowly.

Posted by: Johnny Nguyen at September 10, 2015 10:03 PM

Luis Bautista, Cannelle, and Connor
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 – Academic Writing
10 September 2015
“ He was now in full possession of his physical senses. They were, in deed, preternaturally keen and alert”. (Bierce 9)
Question; Why does Bierce compare the sounds of the insects to audible music?
Answer; Bierce gives us the perfect idea of the picture by describing everything in great details. In fact, during the execution Bierce gives the reader the feeling of what the protagonist is feeling by describing the level of sharpness and accuracy his five physical senses have reached. Now, Farquhar has maybe a couple of minutes to appreciate all the nature, such as the flowing of the river, or the flies of an insect. Bierce describes the insects to audible music as a symbol of appreciation for nature. “A fish slid along beneath his eyes and he heard the rush of its body parting the water”(Bierce 9). Bierce raises all elements for nature, such as water, land and animals by emphasizing and increasing Farquhar’s five senses.

Posted by: Luis Bautista at September 10, 2015 11:05 PM

Randawnique Coakley
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA06
25 January 2015

Question: 9. Why is it significant that, “[c]ircumstances of an imperious nature, which is unnecessary to relate here, had prevented him from taking service with the gallant army . . . and he chafed under the inglorious restraint, longing for the release of his energies, the larger life of the soldier, the opportunity for distinction.” Look up the word “imperious” and note the multiple meanings. Do you think Bierce had a specific reason for this particular word choice? If so, why?

Answer: In section II in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by , Ambrose Bierce, Bierce describes that Farquhar was dedicated to the Confederate army but was unable to because "circumstances of imperious nature" (Bierce 6), yet he still longed "for the release of his energies, the larger life of the soldier, the opportunity for distinction" (6). The reader clearly understands that even though unable to join the Southern army, Farquhar sought to help the army in a more impactful way. However, the use of the word "imperious"(6), which can be defined as assuming authority or superiority or being arrogant, suggests that Farquhar was unable to take orders from a captain in the Confederate because of him being arrogant. Bierce uses this word to allow the reader to get more insight into Farquhar as a character. Other than the reason to reveal a characteristic of Farquhar, Bierce uses the word to illustrate irony. It is rather ironic because if Farquhar is too arrogant to take orders, in the first section where he is preparing to be hanged and the third section where he is trying to escape gunshots, Farquhar is in a position where he does not have the power or authority. Basically, he is a position where he is subservient and was not in authority.

Posted by: Randawnique Coakley at January 23, 2016 07:17 PM

Vincia Mitchell
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing 11 CA06
23 January 2016

Question: What is the significance of the sergeant being a deputy sheriff in civil life?

Answer: In civil life or society, a deputy sheriff is a commissioned officer who performs law enforcement duties under the command of a sheriff or another official. Similarly, in the text, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, a sergeant played the role of a deputy sheriff under the command of a captain. (Bierce 5) postulated that “as these thoughts, which have here to be set down in words, were flashed into the doomed man’s brain rather than evolved from it the captain nodded to the sergeant. The sergeant stepped aside”. At this point, it is clear to the reader that the sergeant is fulfilling his role as a deputy sheriff by responding to the command of the captain.

Posted by: vincia mitchell at January 23, 2016 11:28 PM

Heather Hauck
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
24 January 2016

Question #8: In section II Bierce finally introduces Farquhar. Why does he place the detailed
description of Farquhar in the middle of the action as Farquhar falls between the
ties? How does this contribute to the suspense?

Answer: If Bierce had placed the exposition at the beginning of the story it may not have drawn the reader in to the story or created the heightened excitement and curiosity. At the point of crisis when Farquhar begins to fall to his death (Bierce 5), the narrative provides a flashback of what caused his actions and distracts the reader from his moment of mortality. As we discover, Farquhar was “ardently devoted to the Southern cause” and eventually gave his life for his country (Bierce 6). If Bierce placed the personal details at the beginning, it just would not have had the same causation. Bierce ends section II, noting the information came from a Confederate soldier. This detail makes the reader suspicious of sabotage against Farquhar, and then the reader dives back in the story and gets another rush of excitement and visualization of Bierce fighting for his freedom and his disappointing death.

Posted by: Heather Hauck at January 24, 2016 09:14 PM

Phillip Moss
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing II CA06
24 January 2016

Question: Explain the imagery of the sluggish stream and the dancing driftwood

Answer: In “an occurrence at owl creek bridge” Peyton Farquhar spends the last moment of his life before he is executed by hanging. In this moment he notices a piece of driftwood floating down the river. “A piece of dancing driftwood caught his attention and his eyes followed it down the current. How slowly it appeared to move! What a sluggish stream!”(Bierce 3) the driftwood in a way symbolizes a part of Peyton as it distracts him from his death and he imagines himself escaping down the river.

Posted by: Phillip Moss at January 24, 2016 10:42 PM

Clark de Bullet
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
24 January 2016

Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Question #12: Discuss the meaning of this quoted passage: “…encompassed in a luminous cloud of which he was now merely the fiery heart, without material substance . . .”

Answer: This passage speaks of when Farquhar was hung off the bridge by the soldiers (Bierce 8). When it says that he was “encompassed in a luminous cloud of which he was now merely the fiery heart, without material substance”, the narrator is saying that he was conscious of nothing but the pain as the cord grew taunt. He felt not the weight of his own body suspended in the air nor fear of any kind. He only knew the feeling of anguish as he dangled like a “cloud”, unaware of his physical being or circumstance. The “fiery heart” would be linked to the burning he felt from the rope around his neck and from the suffocation.

Posted by: Clark de Bullet at January 25, 2016 12:36 AM

Omar Martinez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
25 January 2016

Question: The man on the bridge remains anonymous until the second part of the story, yet he is described in great detail – even his thoughts. Why?

Answer: I think the author catches us by surprise by describing this character in so many details that we want to know who he is and what is going to happen next.

Posted by: Omar Martinez at January 25, 2016 12:39 AM

Jennifer Belcastro
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122-Academic Writing II CA06
25 January 2016

Question: What comment on military formalities is Bierce conveying in the following: “Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced he is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those familiar with him.”?

Answer: Bierce is conveying that when in the face of death that you have to agree to die and not try to get out of it. Bierce says, "...when he comes announced is to be received..." (Bierce 3). This quote is saying that you will have to accept death no matter what happens.

Posted by: Jennifer Belcastro at January 25, 2016 10:23 AM

Hannah Rowe
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CAO6
January 25, 2016
“An Occurrence on Owl Creek Bridge”

Q: Discuss the meaning of the phrase “disobedient hands.”

A: While Peyton is dreaming he is escaping his fate, he imagines tricking the officers by putting his noose back on. However, His “disobedient hands” force him to swim to surface, against his will, as his body is fighting to survive (Bierce 9).

Posted by: Hannah Rowe at January 25, 2016 11:34 AM

Chloe Lelliott
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic writing 2 CA06
25 January 2016

Question 7) What is the significance of the mans perception of his ticking watch?

Answer 7) The significance of the perception is to highlight the mans awareness of time, in fact the time he had left to live. The sentence "he awaited each new stroke with patience" tells us that time is going very slowly for him because he is going to die and he is afraid of that. When the text says "they hurt his ear like trust of a knife" when describing the ticks of the watch it describes how painful it is for time to be going this slowly and for the watch to be making that even more apparent. It suggests to the reader that he would rather just be put out of his misery there and then rather than put through this apprehension.

Posted by: Chloe Lelliott at January 25, 2016 11:59 AM

Justin Robinson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
25 January 2016

Question: 14.) Why does Bierce compare the sounds of the insects to audible music?

Answer: 14.) He compares the sound of all the insects to audible music, he says, "The humming of the gnats that danced above the eddies of the stream, the beating of the dragon flies' wings, the strokes of the water spiders' legs, like oars which had lifted their boat- all these made audible music" (Bierce, 9). He says this because he is in the minced of dying and he can now hear everything around him, he is alert now and he can hear everything. These sounds of the insects were loud enough for him to head, loud enough to seem like music to his ears as he was being beaten to his death while he laid in the water.

Posted by: Justin Robinson at January 25, 2016 02:26 PM

Vincia Mitchell and Allison Cobb

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 122 Academic Writing 11 CA06

3 February 2016



Question: Who is the roundest character? Who is the flattest character? What point of view is the story told in?




Answer: The roundest character is Farquhar. He can be considered the most rounded and dynamic character because he goes through a character arch of change.
The Captain is the flattest character because he only has one role and while he is essential to the story, he does not change or go through a character arch. This makes him a very flat character. The story is told in a combination of an omniscient, objective, and limited third person point of view. The author does this to reveal the thoughts of characters during important moments and keep the story focused on everyone involved.

Posted by: Allison Cobb at February 3, 2016 02:27 PM

Nastassja Sielchan
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
25 January 2016

Question: Why was Farquhar captured? Why did the Federal scout lie?

Answer: Farquhar was captured, because the Union troops told him there was going to be a meeting of a group of Union soldiers at the bridge and since he was a Confederate supporter, he went to the meeting to destroy their stockade. Bierce explained that he federal scout said, “The Yanks are repairing the railroads, [. . .] and are getting ready for another advance” (Bierce 6). Farquhar was then captured by the Union troops that set him up. The federal scout lied so that Bierce could have a way to explain how unjust the war is.

Posted by: Nastassja Sielchan at February 4, 2016 01:05 PM

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