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4.04: What Happened at Owl Creek Bridge?

The Virtual Times

Analyze the Story

Reread the story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." Think carefully about the following questions. They will help guide your reading and thinking about the story. Answer the questions in a thoughtful manner using complete sentences.

  1. What is Peyton Farquhar's occupation?

  2. Why is he not a soldier, officer, or part of the army?

  3. How much time actually elapses between the opening and closing lines of Part III?

  4. Describe the setting at the opening of the story.

  5. Describe Peyton Farquhar's last thoughts.

  6. Identify and describe the sound that disturbs the thoughts going through his mind.

  7. In the flashback of the story's second section, who visits Peyton Farquhar?

  8. What plan does Farquhar conceive as a result of this visit?

  9. What does Farquhar imagine in the story's last section? 

  10. Ironically, what is his real fate? 

  11. Summarize what you think this story reveals about the psychology of a person in a life or death situation.  

  12. How does Bierce prepare us for the final outcome of the story?  

  13. Do you think the writer tries to enlist your sympathies toward either the Union or Confederate side? Or, does the story seem more focused on a more general theme about the nature of war? Cite details from the story to support your answer.  


Go to the Discussion area and post your responses to these questions:

  1. Think about Peyton's thought process: What are his last thoughts?

  2. What do you think this story reveals about the thought process of a person in a life or death situation?

Respond to at least one other student's posting about Peyton's thought process.

assignment box

4.04: What Happened at Owl Creek Bridge? - two assignments

  1. Complete assignment 4.04A An Occurrence at Owl Street Bridge.

  2. Go to the Discussion area, and post your response to the questions above. Be sure to respond to at least one other student.

  3. Submit your response and the name of the student to whom you responded as assignment 4.04B Peyton Discussion.

  4. Complete assessment 4.04C What Happened at Owl Creek Bridge?.

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