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Word Count: 573
A Southern Hero As An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge unfolds the main character Peyton Farquhar is wearing a rope around his neck in preparation for his hanging It is implied later in the story that he is being executed for the burning of the Owl Creek Bridge where Union soldiers have set up a blockade Farquhar is a gentleman planter and supporter of the southern secession living in Alabama during the Civil War Ambrose Bierce the author portrays Farquhar as someone with courage integrity and the ability to overcome any physical hardship Farquhar has the courage to contemplate burning the Owl Creek Bridge because there is no service too humble for him to perform in aid of the South no adventure too perilous for him to undertake 82 According to a soldier who stops by the Farquhar residence the Union commandant issued an order declaring that any civilian caught interfering with the railroad its bridges tunnels or trains will be summarily hanged 83 He knows that should he be captured he will be put to death by hanging The thought of Farquhar believing that he can get away with destroying the bridge right under the noses of the Union troops takes sheer guts The integrity Farquhar demonstrates while the noose is around his neck is quite amazing He sees death as a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect 81 Farquhar is not upset by death or afraid to die He simply embraces the very thought of death and holds it close to him as a military person would for in the code of military etiquette silence and fixity are forms of deference 81 Instead of attempting to escape his execution Farquhar unselfishly spends the last few minutes of his life thinking of his young children and his wife One might surmise he preferred to die with honor rather than dishonor
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