An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

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In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," why does Peyton's watch tick so loudly?  

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Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I am not sure if Farquhar is legitimately experiencing a preternatural acuteness of his sense of hearing as a result of his adrenaline or if he's only imagining hearing his watch. The narrator says, "What he heard was the ticking of his watch." It is unclear if Farquhar is aware that he hears his watch or if he fails to recognize the sound because of its unusual "strength and sharpness." I'm inclined to believe that he, alone, hears the ticking of his watch because he, alone, is in a life-or-death situation that increases the natural workings of his senses, though he may not be aware that it is his watch that he hears appearing to slow down. Therefore, it's not that the actual sound has risen in volume but, rather, that Farquhar's sense of hearing has become more sensitive as a result of his pumping adrenaline as he awaits the fall that will snap his neck.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As was mentioned in the previous post, Peyton Farquhar stands in the middle of the Owl Creek Bridge and awaits his death by...

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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