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"the Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," by Ambrose Bierce

Essay by review  •  November 25, 2010  •  Essay  •  636 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,394 Views

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"The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," by Ambrose Bierce tells the story of a man being executed. As the man dies he imagines his escape. Facing death, the man wants nothing more ten to go home to his family. During his journey home, the man comes to appreciate life. Perhaps he sees how he should have lived, only as a dying man could. When faced with death he truly begins to realize what he has lost. This story might show us how death can enlighten us about life.

It is said that when you die your life passes before your eyes. A similar situation occurs in the aforementioned story. Even though the man did not see his life passing, he saw himself living on, escaping his captors. During this imaginary journey he notices little things about life. He holds sacred, minute details he might not have paid much attention to during his life. Even though his liveliness is only a product of his imagination, he is grateful to be alive. In the grasp of death he appreciates life.

Death is sometimes considered unthinkable. People do not wish to think of loved ones dying. When someone close to us dies we are over come with sadness. We wish we had more time with them. Their death shows us the importance of that person's role in our lives. We begin to think of how we will live our lives without them. We think of all the moments we shared with them, they live again in our memories. Perhaps death is considered unthinkable because we fear it. Only when presented with death do we conquer our fear and truly begin to appreciate life.

"Death is a dignitary who, when he comes announced, is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him." This is a quote from "The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge". This quote illustrates more of the human nature associated with death. When the condemned man is about to die the author describes the onlookers as statue like. All is quiet as they stand watching, waiting for the man to die. Even though this audience is part of the organization condemning the man, they are respectful to the loss of life. Perhaps, while watching, the soldiers consider what it would be like if they were in this man's shoes. They might be thinking about how grateful they are to be alive. They may even share some of the same thoughts as the condemned man. In the presence of death they are thinking of life.

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