Short Story Contents Of The Dead Man's Pockets

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“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent”. First lady Barbara Bush shows that ambition can sometimes be a bad thing when family is ignored because of it. Even someone with the prestigious position of the first lady realizes that ambition can be a bad thing. She proves an important point of Jack Finney’s story. In the short story “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pockets”, author Jack Finney uses the actions of the main character, Tom Bennecke to show that when man becomes overly ambitious, their priorities are out of order, which will cause regret and eventually cause him…show more content…
In the short story, Tom decides to not go to the movies with his wife, because he wants to work on a project instead. This is not a mandatory project, but he feels it is imperative for him to become more successful. Before she leaves, Tom walks her out and as he goes to shut the door “[He resists] for a moment. As the door opening [narrows], the current of warm air from the hallway…[rushes] past him with accelerated force.” (Deal 100). The author uses language in this passage to show that Tom wanted to go the movies, but feels that this project is more important. In the quote, he “resists for a moment”, this shows the conscious choice that Tom made to stay at home. He also realizes that as the “door opening narrows”, so does the opportunity for him to have a nice night with his wife. When the door opening narrows a current of “warm air rushed past him”. Warmth often signifies good things, when he allows the door to close the door to goodness also closes on him. It is as though the work is pulling him away from the goodness that is his wife and the warm hallway air. As he closes the door “he heard the slap of the window curtains against the wall and the sound of paper fluttering on his desk, and he had to push close the door.” (100). The author uses the harshness of the slap of window curtains and paper fluttering to foreshadow the impending doom that awaits Tom later in the story. He falls into a sort of fantasy when he feels the comfort of the warm air, but is snapped back to reality by the cold wind from outside. He will later become regretful that he ignored the warm air, the symbol for his wife, and instead listened to the window and the air
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