Impossibilities of "Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge"

Essay by devilshqtHigh School, 11th grade April 2004

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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 direction of the 'blinding sunlight.'

However, this amazing eye site of Peyton is not limited to 'human sized' objects, but is also able to see the almost microscopic and even the microscopic objects around him.

Peyton is able to see the leaves of the trees and "the veining of each leaf." He also noticed the "grey spiders stretching their webs from twig to twig." Peyton "noted the prismatic colors in all the dewdrops upon a million blades of grass." 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,