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Impossibilities Of "Occurence At Owl Creek Bridge"

580 words - 3 pages

After falling about 20 feet off of a bridge into swiftly moving water, Peyton Farquhar is able to rise to the surface and there he is greeted by the "blinding sunlight." Yet, his physical senses manage to be "preternaturally keen and alert." This is proved when he is able to see in detail all of the action taking place on the bridge. He is able to see all the soldiers running about and a rifle's muzzle, from which he sees "a light cloud of blue smoke rising." Even more peculiar is the fact that he is able to determine the color of one of the sentinels, who had just shot his rifle and still had his eye on the sights of the rifle. To make all even more amazing, you have to remember he is looking in the ...view middle of the document...

" Not only was Peyton's eye site so good that he could see the shape of the objects around him, but he was also able to determine the color, which are almost invisible to the unaided eye, such as the colors of the dewdrops.Also, his eye site was not his only "preternaturally keen" sense, but his sense of hearing also went up quite a few notches. For one, he was able to "hear the separate sounds struck by the ripples." Second of all, "the humming of the gnats, the beating of the dragon flies' wings, the strokes of the water-spiders' legs were all audible music" to him. These sounds would be drowned out by the swiftly moving water and any normal human being would not be able to make each individual sound out. Yet, Peyton's senses are so sharp, that he is able to accomplish these miraculous undertakings.With all these facts at hand, a few conclusions can be drawn up, but knowing the ending of the story, it is obvious which to select. Peyton is imagining all this in his head; these thoughts are his last few thoughts before his death. At the worry stricken stage he is in, he is not able to make out what is within human limits and what is not. All these thoughts of him running away and seeing his wife again happened in a mere flash of few seconds. He did not think all the images and sounds out, he just let it flow. He didn't stop to consider if it was humanly possible to see veins of a leaf or see the colors of dewdrops or hear single ripples. They were his last thoughts before his death. All imagined up and an escape from reality. In the end, Peyton Farquhar's senses are not "preternaturally keen and alert," but instead they become indifferent and dead to the world.

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