An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
by Ambrose Bierce
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Versions of Reality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Part.Paragraph)
He was not conscious of an effort, but a sharp pain in his wrist apprised him that he was trying to free his hands. He gave the struggle his attention, as an idler might observe the feat of a juggler, without interest in the outcome. What splendid effort!—what magnificent, what superhuman strength! Ah, that was a fine endeavor! Bravo! (3.2)
At many points during his miraculous escape, Farquhar is a spectator of his own actions. Like an audience member at a play, Farquhar cheers himself on, amazed by, but disconnected from, his own efforts.
He was now in full possession of his physical senses. They were, indeed, preternaturally keen and alert. Something in the awful disturbance of his organic system had so exalted and refined them that they made record of things never before perceived. (3.3)
Farquhar's physical perception of the world is changed and improved by his hanging. He looks at and feels the world around him more strongly than before, but does his intellectual perception improve?
He had come to the surface facing down the stream; in a moment the visible world seemed to wheel slowly round, himself the pivotal point, and he saw the bridge, the fort, the soldiers upon the bridge, the captain, the sergeant, the two privates, his executioners. (3.4)
From the beginning of the story, Farquhar acts as though the universe revolves around him. His belief (some might say arrogance) in his own abilities leads to his downfall. After his hanging, the world matches his perception by whirling around him at the center.