Contents Of A Dead Man's Pockets Analysis

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The story “Contents of a Dead Man’s Pockets” by Jack Finney, Tom Benecke makes a dramatic discovery about his life and how he has been spending it. He is a go getter and has put all of his energy into getting ahead in his job. He is obsessed with being successful, and making money, even if it means pushing his wife, Clare, away completely. Finney begins with Tom’s wife asking him to go to a movie with her, but he refuses claiming that his work needs to be completed. Then, as she is leaving, his most important work documented on a yellow sheet of paper flies out of the window and onto the ledge of his apartment building. Tom then decides that his work is too valuable to let go, and climbs onto the ledge of his eleven story apartment building…show more content…
The work could have been redone. Yes, it would have taken him a substantial of time to rewrite months worth of ideas, but it was definitely replaceable. Life, however, is not replaceable. Blinded by the obsession with his work, Tom went out on the high ledge to retrieve his paper. Finney writes, “he stood on the ledge outside in the slight, chill breeze, eleven stories above the street.” Tom didn’t realize at the time how shortsighted he was being until the possibility of death was staring him right in the face. Had his priorities been straight, he may have considered his life more meaningful than a meager piece of yellow paper. Finally, at the end of the story, Tom realizes how ridiculous he had been acting, and decides that his life, and his wife are the most important to him. Finney describes his feelings about getting back inside like this: “He thought of Clare-- just a wordless, yearning thought-- and then drew his arm back just a bit more, fist so tight his fingers pained him, and knowing he was going to do it.” He knew that his actions were careless and finally realized that family is what lasts. His love for Clare is what drove him to break the window, and make it safely back inside. Once safe, he went to see Clare
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