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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Introducing the Story Literary Focus: Point of View Reading Skills: Analyzing Sequence of Events Feature.

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Presentation on theme: "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Introducing the Story Literary Focus: Point of View Reading Skills: Analyzing Sequence of Events Feature."— Presentation transcript:

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2 An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Introducing the Story Literary Focus: Point of View Reading Skills: Analyzing Sequence of Events Feature Menu

3 An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

4 Our minds can conjure up vivid scenarios of triumph or defeat, joy or disaster. What thoughts might race through the mind of a person who faces death? To what extremes might the human imagination go? An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

5 As this story opens, a man named Peyton Farquhar is about to be hanged from a bridge by Union soldiers. [End of Section] As we follow Farquhar’s last, desperate thoughts of escape, we learn who he is how he came to be in this situation his fate—imagined and real An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

6 Point of view is the vantage point from which a writer tells a story. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Literary Focus: Point of View Like a movie camera panning the scene and then zooming in close, the narrator of Bierce’s story adopts several points of view.

7 An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Literary Focus: Point of View omniscient—the narrator seems to know everything about all the characters or events As you read the story, watch for these points of view: objective—the narrator reports the events in a detached way without comment third-person limited—the narrator zooms in on the thoughts and feelings of a single character [End of Section]

8 Bierce relates the events of this story out of sequence. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Reading Skills: Analyzing Sequence of Events As you read, make a list of the major events in the order in which they’re presented. Order in Which Events Are Presented 1. A man is about to be hanged off a railroad bridge. 2. At his home, Peyton Farquhar is told by a soldier in Confederate uniform that Union forces have taken Owl Creek Bridge.

9 After you’ve finished reading, create a time line that shows the order in which the events actually happened. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Reading Skills: Analyzing Sequence of Events Chronological Order of Events Peyton learns that Union forces have taken Owl Creek Bridge. Peyton is about to be hanged by Union soldiers.

10 Compare your first list of events with your time line. Think about why Bierce chose to relate the events out of sequence. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Reading Skills: Analyzing Sequence of Events [End of Section]

11 This realism stands in stark contrast to romantic notions of life and storytelling. Bierce pulls no punches: He attempts to depict people and events as they really are. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Background The story is set in the Deep South during the Civil War (1861–1865). The horrors of war serve as a setting for Bierce’s real focus: the mind of a man condemned to death. [End of Section]

12 Vocabulary

13 Previewing the Vocabulary sentinel n.: guard; sentry. deference n.: respect. perilous adj.: dangerous. encompassed v. used as adj.: surrounded; enclosed. oscillation n.: regular back-and-forth movement. pivotal adj.: central; acting as a point around which other things turn. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Vocabulary

14 Previewing the Vocabulary appalling adj.: frightful. gyration n.: circular movement; whirling. abrasion n.: scrape. malign adj.: harmful; evil. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Vocabulary

15 a.sentinel b.encompassed c.pivotal d.gyration e.abrasion 1. enclosed _____ 2. scrape _____ 3. guard _____ 4. central _____ 5. whirling _____ Vocabulary Activity: Synonyms Match the synonyms in the left-hand column with the Vocabulary words in the right. b e a c d An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Vocabulary

16 e.deference f.perilous g.oscillation h.appalling i.malign 1. well-meaning _____ 2. disrespect _____ 3. stillness _____ 4. safe _____ 5. wonderful _____ Vocabulary Activity: Antonyms Match the antonyms in the left-hand column with the Vocabulary words in the right. i e g f h An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Vocabulary [End of Section]

17 Meet the Writer

18 Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914?) was the tenth of thirteen children. Mainly self-educated, he fought bravely in the Civil War before turning to writing. His witty, caustic pieces—often exposing the deceit and greed of his times—earned him the nickname “Bitter Bierce.” An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Meet the Writer More About the Writer [End of Section]


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