October 11, 2004

An occurence...Double meaning?

"An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce, had an ending that really sent people into shock. After reading it again to refresh my memory, i noticed some things that i would like to mention.

First of all, im not sure whether i mentioned this in class or not, but i do think is foreshadowed where the Peyton, the main character, dies. Often, if someone dies and comes back to life, the awaken from the dead. The key word here being awaken.

"As Peyton Farquhar fell straight downward through the bridge, he lost consciousness and was as one alreaady dead. From this state, he was awakened--ages later, it seemed to him--by the pain of a sharp pressure upon his throat, followed by a sense of suffocation."

This passage from the story is what i claim to be foreshadowing. It says that he was already dead pretty much, and then he is "awakened".

"At last he found a road which led him in what he knew to be the right direction. It was as wide and straight as a city street, yet it seemed untraveled. No fields bordered it, no dwelling anywhere. 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. Overhead, as he looked up through this rift in the wood, shone great golden stars looking unfamiliar and grouped in strange constellations. He was sure they were arranged in some order which had a secret and malign significance...He could no longer feel the roadway beneath his feet...Doubtless, despite his suffering he had fallen asleep while walking...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."

These passages, all towards the end of the story, are describing what i think is Heaven. A nice giant road, untravled and unrecognizable, leading him to what he thinks is his house, where it is mentioned that the walk is white, and his wife has "fluttering" garments, which reminds me of flowing gowns, and i get a picture of the kind angels wear. I think he has died, and awakens in Heaven, only to dream going back to his wife, but its all in his place in Heaven and once he gets to see her one last time, he dies completely and is at rest.

Posted by Lori Rupert at October 11, 2004 07:23 AM
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