This article will tell you the short story entitled “One Summer Night” with story analysis, summary, and theme in English. Bear with us as we go along with this fascinating story and learn something from it.
Table of contents
One Summer Night
The fact that Henry Armstrong was buried did not seem to him to prove that he was dead: he had always been a hard man to convince. That he really was buried, the testimony of his senses compelled him to admit. His posture — flat upon his back, with his hands crossed upon his stomach and tied with something that he easily broke without profitably altering the situation — the strict confinement of his entire person, the black darkness and profound silence, made a body of evidence impossible to controvert and he accepted it without cavil.
But dead — no; he was only very, very ill. He had, withal, the invalid’s apathy and did not greatly concern himself about the uncommon fate that had been allotted to him. No philosopher was he — just a plain, commonplace person gifted, for the time being, with a pathological indifference: the organ that he feared consequences with was torpid. So, with no particular apprehension for his immediate future, he fell asleep and all was peace with Henry Armstrong.
But something was going on overhead. It was a dark summer night, shot through with infrequent shimmers of lightning silently firing a cloud lying low in the west and portending a storm. These brief, stammering illuminations brought out with ghastly distinctness the monuments and headstones of the cemetery and seemed to set them dancing. It was not a night in which any credible witness was likely to be straying about a cemetery, so the three men who were there, digging into the grave of Henry Armstrong, felt reasonably secure.
Two of them were young students from a medical college a few miles away; the third was a gigantic negro known as Jess. For many years Jess had been employed about the cemetery as a man-of-all-work and it was his favourite pleasantry that he knew ‘every soul in the place.’ From the nature of what he was now doing it was inferable that the place was not so populous as its register may have shown it to be.
Outside the wall, at the part of the grounds farthest from the public road, were a horse and a light wagon, waiting.
The work of excavation was not difficult: the earth with which the grave had been loosely filled a few hours before offered little resistance and was soon thrown out. Removal of the casket from its box was less easy, but it was taken out, for it was a perquisite of Jess, who carefully unscrewed the cover and laid it aside, exposing the body in black trousers and white shirt. At that instant the air sprang to flame, a cracking shock of thunder shook the stunned world and Henry Armstrong tranquilly sat up. With inarticulate cries the men fled in terror, each in a different direction. For nothing on earth could two of them have been persuaded to return. But Jess was of another breed.
In the grey of the morning the two students, pallid and haggard from anxiety and with the terror of their adventure still beating tumultuously in their blood, met at the medical college.
‘You saw it?’ cried one.
‘God! yes — what are we to do?’
They went around to the rear of the building, where they saw a horse, attached to a light wagon, hitched to a gatepost near the door of the dissecting-room. Mechanically they entered the room. On a bench in the obscurity sat the negro Jess. He rose, grinning, all eyes and teeth.
‘I’m waiting for my pay,’ he said.
Stretched naked on a long table lay the body of Henry Armstrong, the head defiled with blood and clay from a blow with a spade.The Short story entitled, “One Summer Night by Ambrose Bierce,” is from americanliterature.com
The summary and analysis of Ambrose Bierce‘s short story “One Summer Night” help you figure out what the story is really about. Allow us to indulge ourselves by delving into the great story analysis of the story.
|Title||One Summer Night|
|Setting||The story’s settings are: the casket underground, above ground, and at the medical college.|
|Theme||The themes of the story are “the peace of the grave versus the chaos of the living world,” “the unsteady border between the living and the dead,” and “the naturally malicious acts of the living as more threatening than supernatural forces.”|
|Genre||The story One Summer Night’s genres are short story, horror, and classic.|
|Moral Lesson||The moral lesson of the story is that people, not ghosts, are the things that one ought to be afraid of.|
|Characters||The characters in the story are Henry Armstrong, two young students, and Jess.|
|Summary||In the summary of the story One Summer Night, it starts with Henry Armstrong, who has been buried alive. He comes to terms with it swiftly. He’s really ill and apathetic about whether he lives or dies. Then he fell asleep, and all was well with him.|
Meanwhile, three men dig Henry Armstrong’s grave as a storm approaches. They were two medical students and one cemetery worker. A horse and wagon wait outside the cemetery fence for Armstrong’s body. When Jess unscrews the casket cover, Henry Armstrong sits up, and the medical students flew away while Jess stayed.
The next morning, the students discuss what they saw at medical school. They find a horse and a wagon near the dissection room. The story ends when Jess demands payment when they enter, and Henry Armstrong’s head-wounded body is on a table.
About the Author
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was an American who was born on June 24, 1842, and died in 1914. He wrote short stories, worked as a journalist, wrote poetry, and fought in the Civil War.
The American Revolution Bicentennial Administration chose his book The Devil’s Dictionary as one of “The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature.”
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce’s story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” has been called “one of the most famous and often anthologized stories in American literature,” and his book Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (also called “In the Midst of Life”) was named by the Grolier Club as one of the 100 most influential American books printed before 1900.
What are the themes of the story?
What is the genre of the story?
The story One Summer Night’s genres are short story, horror, and classic, which is about Henry Armstrong, who was buried alive and was taken from the grave by the two medical students and Jess.
What is the Moral Lesson in the story?
Who are the characters in the story?
Time needed: 1 minute.
Here are the characters in the short story One Summer Night by Ambrose Bierce.
- Henry Armstrong
Henry Armstrong is the man who was buried alive and was taken from the grave by the two medical students and Jess.
- Two Medical Students
The two medical students are the ones who paid Jess and took the body of Henry.
Jess is a huge black man who worked as a man-of-all-work at the cemetery. He was the one who took Henry from the grave with the students.
One Summer Night Summary
In the summary of the story One Summer Night, it starts with Henry Armstrong, who has been buried alive. He comes to terms with it swiftly. He's really ill and apathetic about whether he lives or dies. Then he fell asleep, and all was well with him. Meanwhile, three men dig Henry Armstrong's grave as a storm approaches. They were two medical students and one cemetery worker. A horse and wagon wait outside the cemetery fence for Armstrong's body. When Jess unscrews the casket cover, Henry Armstrong sits up, and the medical students flew away while Jess stayed. The next morning, the students discuss what they saw at medical school. They find a horse and a wagon near the dissection room. The story ends when Jess demands payment when they enter, and Henry Armstrong's head-wounded body is on a table.
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This short story, called “One Summer Night,” was written by Ambrose Bierce. In the summary and analysis, the story is about the man who was buried alive and the two medical students and a black man who took him from the grave.
Based on the short story’s analysis, the story tells us that in this world we should not fear ghosts. Instead, the people who are alive are who we should be afraid of.