Why would someone risk their life for a measly piece of paper that flew out of the window? The short story “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket” by Jack Finney describes a man named Tom Benecke who climbs through his window and out to a ledge so he could retrieve an important sheet with all of his hard work on it. The story illustrates how family is much more important than work by using symbolism and irony. Finney uses symbolism to demonstrate Tom’s obsession with work and ignorance of those around him. Tom stays at home working while his wife Clare goes out a movie.
Tom thinks about how if he dies, the only thing in his pocket will be a sheet of paper with calculations and observations about a grocery story. He thinks about how to the people that find him, it will mean nothing. He thinks to himself, “Contents of the dead man’s pockets, he thought with a sudden fierce anger, a wasted life.” (p 123) He realizes that he has wasted his life focusing on things that are not important. He then sets his priorities straight. With his number one priority in mind, “He shot his arm forward toward the glass, and he said, ‘Clare!” (p 124).
After the ordeal Tom goes through to retrieve the yellow paper that nearly resulted in his demise, the paper gets blown away once more. This time, he allows the wind to sweep the yellow scrap out of his apartment window. Rather than endanger his life repeatedly, he decides that there are other, more important things to concern himself with. His experience changes him for the better. Living life in the moment shifts to be more important to him than any project for work.
The story of “The Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket” in my opinion should have a happy ending. My happy ending for the story would go along the lines of him fixing himself after the window incident like cleaning all the glass pieces off of him and cuts. Then to go surprise his wife at the movie theatres and bring her something nice. He would then apologize saying sorry and that he’s going to spend as much time as he can with her. He’ll hug her and stuff, saying I love you and then they’ll both watch the movie together, happy as can be.
He pushes past the faintness and dizziness he experiences, he pushes himself to see beyond the black spots in his weary vision and he pushes past the pain in his hands to catch the Marlin which puts up a great fight against this frail old man. The Old Man’s struggles throughout the novel are predominantly Man versus Self and Man versus Nature, since his struggles are always against the seas, the Marlin and the sharks who begin to hunt him. Also, while he is traversing the seas for fish, his struggles with the pain he experiences are a large example of the Man vs Self
There is even a full paragraph on the first page that explains his feelings on the situation. This paragraph allows the reader to understand Joe on a deeper level. One phrase fully describes his feelings, “One could actually see the pain he was suffering, his eyes, his face, his hands and even the dejected slump of his shoulders”(1). This description comes right after the men comment on the fact that his wife Lena, was seen walking arm and arm with Spunk a few moments ago. Joe seems to be painted as a pushover, but it’s not until one of
Loss of work was an obvious struggle during the Great Depression and no doubt one the ‘Forgotten Man’ faced but the piece goes beyond surface. Man lost sense of community, motivation, and hope. The Depression may have caused citizens and the government to pull together in desperate need of support and comradery but that did not happen overnight. This piece shows a man, who is clearly not a hobo as he is dressed well and clean, being overlooked or as Dixon put it, forgotten. The frightful level of uncertainty the generation faced is unimaginable but they needed to remember they were not alone.
In the essay “I’m Jumping Off the Bridge,” Kevin Sampsell argues that life has more meaning to it than what is recognizable in order to convince the audience that no matter what feelings one has inside, assuming that there is no one and nothing to live for is not the truth. Sampsell deals with his struggles of depression and harmful thoughts after he meets a man at his job that expresses his feelings and desires to commit suicide by jumping off of a bridge. In this essay, Sampsell uses morose word choices to effectively show insight, heartbreak, and the responsibilities that involve one’s life after death. He is eloquent in his description of pain and desolation and has a rhetorical appeal, oriented around pathos, in his relatability. The reader
You are still paralyzed. The shadow is now standing over you with his impassive eyes, like he wouldn’t care if you died or not. C. The shadow suddenly vanishes. You are finally free and can breath again. It all felt so real but you realize it was all a dream.