Owl Creek Bridge
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In what ways are the condemned man's perceptions of time and motion distorted as he is waiting to be hanged?
The perceptions of time and motion in the condemned man’s mind have been distorted. Time is not vital for him as he awaits his death. He closes his eyes and thinks of his family. The story reveals that he did not know the distance of the striking sound inside his mind. When his eyes are opened, he cannot tell the distance of the water from his position and admits that if he could untie his hands, he would loosen the noose, jump inside the water and dodge bullets by swimming robustly to the banks of the river. He could not comprehend whether it was distant or near. He equates the motion of time to his death. He did not understand when he would be hanged. This left him waiting impatiently for the time of his death. He likens his wish for life to space between him and the water, yet he is not sure of it (Bierce 4).
What is ironic about the fact that Farquhar agrees with the saying that, "all is fair in love and war?
Farquhar agrees that “all is fair in love and war”, which is an ironical proclamation (Bierce 5). It is ironic because Farquhar seems an intelligent man, but is not. He waits for a chance that would provide an opportunity to attack the yanks failing to understand that it is a trap. For one to be a soldier he should be intelligent, Farquhar is not. It is ironic that Farquhar understands clearly that love and war are never fair to the parties. Farquhar longs to be a soldier yet he is dim-witted. It is expected that Farquhar should be intelligent and avoid falling into the trap set upon him. The soldier who went to his house tricked him into a trap he did not foresee to be in. The trick led to his demise at the end of the story. He fell into the trap set upon him, Farquhar is caught and made to face the hangman (Bierce 7).
What details in Part III suggest that Farquhar's journey occurs in his mind?
The issues that happen in part III suggest that Farquhar’s journey occurs in his mind because his mind explores a detailed representation of the environment that he was in. Farquhar thinks of an escape and the costs that would arise from it (Bierce 17). He envisions himself in the water swimming towards the banks of the river. Before his hanging comes, he imagines himself at the gate of his home. Throughout part III, Farquhar explores a deep thought about an escape plan. When he reaches his home, he finds his wife in the same way he left her. All the other things appear the same. He envisions his wife approaching from the steps to meet him. Nonetheless, just prior to hugging his wife, the hangman released Farquhar and broke his neck. All these events are not real; but happen in his mind ending at the time of his death (Bierce 22).
Point of view refers to the vantage point from which the story is told. Why is the limited third-person point of view appropriate for this story? How might the story be different if Bierce had used an omniscient third-person narrator?
The limited third-person point of view that has been applied in the story is suitable in the sense that it helps the reader maintain interest in the story. It provides more information that would have otherwise been obscured if omniscient third person would be applied. It helps to create diverse perspectives inside the story. It is necessary for the reader to appreciate the events that occur in the story. The omniscient third-person narration would offer one point of view of the story; thus limiting the reader’s ability to comprehend all the issues in the story. If omniscient third-person was applied, the reader would have been prevented from accessing the personal experiences of Farquhar, the information of the issues that happen in his mind would miss. Hence, the limited third person point of view applied in the story performs the goal of introducing personal thought and additional information to the story.
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