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clowie
02-16-2006, 12:24 PM
Hi, I hope this site helps me. I am having a lot of difficulty in literature. At 46 I decided to go back to school to pursue my bachlors degree, at this point I'm having second thoughts. I need to know how Ambrose Bierce's narrative works in "Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge" I would appreciatea all the help I can get. Thank You

Stismet
02-27-2006, 10:50 AM
How his narrative works?

I'm not sure what you mean, but since it's a realist piece, it's very objective. Bierce himself was a sarcastic grump, in all honesty, so the piece is pessimistic - everything that can go wrong, does: he falls through the bridge, he gets caught. It's satirical of Romantic writing, as seen by the "dream" near the end. There's also a sense of isolationism, common in realist writing, which is evidenced by, well, the man's alone and has no real chance of help.

Don't know if that helps at all, but good luck.

ennison
11-20-2006, 06:57 AM
Narrative in this case is perhaps best looked at as plot and point of view manipulation. I was about eight when I first read this story up in a dark and cobwebby loft. The story moves the point of view from the outer to the inner. From looking at the execution scene from afar to seeing things literally through the eyes of the condemned. Plot manipulation leads the reader down one track to generate the shocking twist at the end. Plot manipulation and altered point of view are also used effectively in his story, 'A Horseman in The Sky'. A slick misanthropic writer whose fate in some way matched the heavily predestinated feel of several of his short stories. What other sort of end could he have had but to vanish in Mexico. A sad life really.

quasimodo1
03-04-2007, 05:55 PM
Amrose Bierce was an engineer during the Civil War where his activities included building bridges, surveying and being in the advance guard to prepare cordoury roads, defensive works, planning routes for the troops and even combat during these activities. These experiences were grist for his short stories and had quite an impact on his personal view of life. After the war he worked for Randolph Hurst and his newspaper chain where most of the entries in what would become a compilation known as the Devil's Dictionary were created. Each day he would define in his own inimitable way, a word or two. Sometimes he would become disenchanted with his work for Hurst and quit writing for lengthy periods during which his eccentric employer would continue sending his pay. Sooner or later he would resume his work. This went on for some time. Since he refused to grow old and decrepit, I think he decided to return to some kind of military lifestyle, went south to Mexico to join Pancho Villa, the raider and the rebel, where "the Old Gringo" faded into history, the manner of his death unknown. RJS

Painter
12-22-2007, 01:26 AM
So I'm in the same boat as the gal who went back to school, me too. so can anyone help me with this? Some differences in short story writing between Bierce and Hemingway. Help!

quasimodo1
12-22-2007, 01:57 AM
To Painter: These writers compare as night does to day, or maybe night to twilight. Ambrose Bierce you will find if you read his "Devil's Dictionary" (which was compiled from many small newspaper columns, while working for Randolph Hearst) is cynical yet subconsciously does realize the positive nature of some men and women. Alot of his devilish definitions are tongue in cheek and directed at those who appreciate dark humor. His short stories are both disillusioned and patriotic, despite how negatively he comments on elected officials. He would occasionally get tired of his day job for the Hearst papers and just cease submitting his column; Hearst's response to this was to continue sending his paychecks no matter how long Bierce remained incommunicative until eventually Ambrose would feel obliged to return and earn his pay. The civil war experiences mostly as combat engineer effected himdeeply and forever. Behind all his negative bluster and brilliant satire I suspect there is a frustrated idealist. Hemingway on the extreme other hand was obsessed by writing and vibrant life. The man's man some would call him. He thought F. Scott Fitzgerald was a genious writer but deeply disturbed, and a heavy drinker...alot heavier than Hemingway. F. Scott's wife Zelda was almost certifiably insane at times. Hemingways style means to bring ulta-real experience to his readers. Bierce needed to comment, albiet by satire, about all the inconsistancies, evils, contradictions and egomaniacs that he felt overpopulated his world. I could go on but hope you get my drift. quasimodo1

Franc
06-06-2009, 11:57 AM
Hi, I hope this site helps me. I am having a lot of difficulty in literature. At 46 I decided to go back to school to pursue my bachlors degree, at this point I'm having second thoughts. I need to know how Ambrose Bierce's narrative works in "Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge" I would appreciatea all the help I can get. Thank You

I read your note and noticed that it was posted quite some time ago. How are you doing on the degree. I just read Psychological Shipwreck by Bierce and would like to discuss it with someone. Are you up for that?