Chickamauga. This essay is about Ambrose Bierce's dark short story, "Chickamauga."

Essay by claire985High School, 11th gradeA+, February 2003

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

Downloaded 52 times


Ambrose Bierce's Chickamauga is a disillusioned child's awakening. Literally, a six year old deaf boy is thrown into a most horrifically traumatic series of events. His story is relayed in the third person omniscient perspective through the eyes of the child as well as an elder. It takes place during the Civil War in a southern town. Chickamauga begins with the boy's entrance into the forest where he goes to play solitarily. With him he carries a toy wooden sword with which he battles imaginary enemies to their deaths. Lost in his adventure the boy grows tired and falls asleep between two rocks deep in the woods. While he is a sleep a battle occurs unbeknownst to him. Several hours later the child wakes up and notices alien figures crawling towards him. Without knowing the gravity of the situation occurring before his oblivious eyes, he makes a game of it all.

The child assumes a leader position for what he has finally determined to be men, and guides them towards a red light. The red light turns out to be his house on fire. When the child finally reaches the fire he is particularly amused by the raging spectacle. He searches desperately for fuel and finally commits his toy sword to the fire. Suddenly the boy realizes that fire is his own home. Horrified he studies the ghastly scene. He then stumbles upon his brutally murdered mother. The small child gets extremely upset, and at this point the reader learns that child is a deaf-mute. The story can be divided into three essential stages, representational of the boy's progression from innocence to forced maturity. The boy advances through innocence, progression to familiarity with reality, and awakening. The small child enters the forest joyfully and carelessly, he leaves with...