An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Questions and Answers
by Ambrose Bierce

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge book cover
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What does "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" reveal about the psychology of a person in a life-or-death situation?

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In Ambrose Bierce's classic short story, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge ," Peyton Farquhar's psychology is portrayed as he undergoes a fascinating experience moments before he is hanged. As Peyton Farquhar stands on a plank overhanging a fast-flowing river, his senses become heightened as he begins to hear the ticking of his watch, which he compares to the "stroke of a blacksmith's hammer upon the anvil." Something that is normally imperceptible like the ticking of one's watch is dramatically heightened to the extent that it becomes a constant ringing in Peyton's ears. His thoughts then drift to the possibility of escaping his fate by surviving the hanging and swimming to safety. Peyton then imagines...

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