An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge Summary
A summary of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge can be custom written from the writers at Paper Masters. Each section will be summarized or the entire short story can be outlined for you so that you understand the elements of the work by Ambrose Bierce.
In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," author Ambrose Bierce tells the story of a Confederate sympathizer facing execution by the Union Army for attempted sabotage of Northern forces. As he is standing at the edge of the bridge, Peyton Farquhar has his wrists bound and a noose around his neck.
- The first section sees one soldier stepping off the makeshift platform that holds him above the water; it closes with the second stepping off as well.
- The second section gives the reader background about Farquhar.
- The third section begins with Farquhar falling from the bridge because the noose has broken.
It is revealed that he was a planter that strongly supported the Confederacy despite being unable to serve. When he learns of a way he can undermine the success of the Northern Armies - setting fire to the driftwood that has accumulated near Owl Creek Bridge, which would in turn destroy the bridge. The man he learned this information from appeared at first to be a Confederate soldier, which is why Farquhar and his wife provided him with shelter and respite. The reader soon learns that he was a Union spy, and Farquhar's fate becomes even clearer.
Farquhar plunges into the water below him and narrowly misses being executed by shots coming from the Union soldiers who had gathered to watch his execution. He manages to escape the perilous situation and travels down deserted roads toward his home. As he approaches, his wife steps out onto the porch to greet him. As he is about to embrace her, Farquhar feels a sharp pain in his neck and everything turns to a blinding white. The reader learns that he has been hanged from the side of Owl Creek Bridge, and that his visions of escape were nothing more than fantasy.