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Perceptions

In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and "The Story of an Hour," the authors use similar techniques to create different tones, which in turn illicit very distinct reactions from the reader. Both use a third person narrator with a limited omniscient point of view to tell of a brief, yet significant period of time. In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," Bierce uses this method to create an analytical tone to tell the story of Farquhar's experience just before death. In "The Story of an Hour," Chopin uses this method to create an involved, sympathetic tone to relay the story of Mrs. Mallard's experience just before death. These stories can be compared on the basis of their similar points of view and conclusions as well as their different tones.In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," Ambrose Bierce recreates a few brief seconds of time for a man being executed whose cognition of these seconds is perceived as the better part of a full day. "All that day he traveled" (paragraph 33). "In "The Story of an Hour," Kate Chopin relates a meaningful, yet unusual hour of time as the last one lived for a woman who has been given the news of her husband's death in a "railroad disaster" (paragraph 2). "She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment" (paragraph 3). Both stories are centered on the powerful emotions that occur within the minds of the characters as they live out the last moments of their lives. The narrators reveal the most intimate thoughts of each character. In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, " Bierce focuses on detail and the dramatic revelation of Farquhar's dying thoughts as he desperately tries to escape the hangmen. This creates a suspenseful journey that seems to see him freed from his noose and carried almost home to the loving arms of his wife. "As these thoughts, which have here to be set do...

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