The paper compares and contrasts two factors of the story “An occurrence at Owl Creek” by Ambrose Bierce and “Guests of the Nation” by Frank O’Connor. The story with the aid of Ambrose presents a man by the mane Farquhar who is about to be hanged for his readiness to burn a bridge during a civil war. The perpetrator is accompanied by a few men to execute the order, and in the process of carrying out the sentence, Farquhar goes into a trance. He thinks of his household relaxing at his home when a soldier comes to him in a flashback and requests him to agree to burn the bridge. After the agreement, he realized that the soldier was a traitor and he was caught, and without trial, he was prepared for execution. Notably, franker did not survive, and most of the things in the story were just an image of what he thought was the correct state of affairs. The story by Frank presents two English soldiers who are held captive by the Irish soldiers in their land. It is revealed that the soldiers were hostages and that they would be executed if their English soldiers killed the Irish prisoners they had. Unfortunately, the two faced death after the agreement between the two fighting groups was breached. The two elements to be compared and contrasted in the paper are warfare and injustice.
Ambrose presents a story that is set during the American Civil war where both the Confederate and the Unions enacted the martial law and different places and time. Notably, the military had the powers to enforce rules at certain areas. War is presented in the story as something that brings only death, destruction, and unfairness. Farquhar is caught in the middle of the war and is in the receiving for supporting the wrong group. He is found guilty of a crime he did not commit and is executed without a fair trial. The soldiers guard the bridge against any harm since it was the primary target for their opponents. The story presents war as unforgiving since despite the fantasy of the victim he ends up losing his life. War brings division, and that was the reason why Farquhar supported the Confederacy since he thought they stood for justice. In a time of war, one apparently suffers out of the choices made, and the decision of Farquhar cost his life. Notably, in a time of war, the innocent civilians are usually at the receiving end, and they are tortured by the soldiers who use excessive force to restore law and order.
In the story “Guests of the Nation” by Frank O’Connor, there is the element of war just like in the story “An occurrence at Owl Creek” by Ambrose Bierce. The English and the Ireland are at war, and two English soldiers are held hostage by a small group of rebels. During the war, people are used as a human shield and at the end, death results, in the two stories, the chief protagonists Belcher, Hawkins, and Farquhar end up facing death as a consequence of the war. Belcher and Hawkins are presented as real people who related well with the old woman and their executioners, but as a result of the war, the two groups are turned into enemies who are ready to attack each other at the right opportune time. In the way, through the flashback, Farquhar is presented as a good man who treats well his family, as a result of the war, he turned into a traitor who deserved to die according to the soldiers. However, there exists a difference in the deaths executed in the two stories. Farquhar is a civilian with no military training while both Belcher and Hawkins are English soldiers and thus they were directly involved in the war.
The element of injustice in the story by Frank is evident. The soldiers came up with the laws they executed in some areas of their territory, and they rulings were unjust. Farquhar was not given a fair trial and is executed without a chance to exonerate himself. It was not just for the soldiers to kill him since they are the same ones who laid a trap on him. It could have been a chance if Farquhar could have been allowed to declare his royalty and consequently spare his life. In the story by Ambrose, Belcher and Hawkins did not deserve to die for mistakes they did. They were responsible for the death of the Irish prisoners and that it was not just to execute them. They had become friends with their potential killers who could have used reasoning not to kill them. In the two stories, the injustice carried out by the soldiers was unfortunate since none of the executed was guilty of the accused crime. However, there is a difference in the levels of injustices witnessed in the two stories. Farquhar is denied, and a fair trial and is killed through hanging, while Ambrose, Belcher is shot to death.
In conclusion, the story by Frank illustrates well the element of war while the story by Ambrose illustrates well the element of injustice. Based on the part of the war, the story “Guests of the Nation” by Frank O’Connor is more efficiently written as it articulates all the elements of war including taking hostages and killing them if a breach of trust and agreement is done. On the other hand, the story by Frank presents a shallow argument of war since the main action is the execution of the accused.