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The style and motives of Ambrose Gwinnet Bierce are those of a great intellect and cynic Through his short stories his views on war death religion love and for a twist the supernatural are blatantly illustrated His experiences in his own life evidently shaped his literary works and the end of his life as mysterious as it was was fitting for such a man Having no true formal education other than that from his one-year stay at the Kentucky Military Institute his writing shows remarkable intelligence and wit Bierce enlisted in the Union army during the Civil War and it is doubtful if any other experience in his life had as much influence upon him as did his military service Sowa 1965 A good portion of his short stories were stories of soldiers and their experiences but he also incorporated mysterious occurrences and supernatural events into these tales The fact that Bierces stories demonstrate his wealth of knowledge is rather odd considering his upbringing and educational background He mainly had to rely on his fathers library for his education but it seems obvious that he had a great intellectual potential anyway which would have been and was developed no matter what His literary style is an amazing one that paints a perfect picture of the mood as well as the settings of his stories He did not seem to exclude one detail as he wove the intricate web of each and every tale that he wrote My introduction to Bierce was with the short story Chickamauga which tells of a young boy who experienced first-hand the horrors of battle during the Civil War This tale is an incredibly gory one full of detail about the soldiers injuries The lack of emotion that Bierce put in is effective considering the terrible things that this boy was seeing while he was lost in the woods The most influential aspect of this story was the fact that this
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