"The intervals of silence grew progressively longer; the delays became maddening..."
See in text (I)
The narrator emphasizes the relativity of time. The perceived sluggishness of the swirling stream and the long intervals between each tick of the man's watch explain why so much goes through his mind in such a short time. The narrator breaks the narrative up into three separate parts in order to lend greater emphasis to the subjective passage of time, in which one second can seem like one hour.
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