Summary Of Contents Of A Dead Man's Pocket

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In the short story entitled Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket, author Jack Finney uses suspense, situational irony, and symbolism to show how some things in life are worth more than others. Finney uses the main character of the story, Tom Benecke, an overachiever and workaholic, to demonstrate his theory. Throughout the story, it shows how a life can come to end, unpredictably, at any given time. Although Finney uses suspense in the story, like “Elbows slowly bending, he began to draw the full weight of his upper body forward, knowing that the instant his fingers slipped off the quarter-inch strips he’d plunge backward and be falling” (43), it could be seen as insignificant because readers believe that Tom would die anyway. He most likely uses suspense so often just to trick readers into thinking that the title of the story is mere foreshadowing. All through the story, readers see on almost every page Tom’s thoughts and fears about plunging eleven stories to his death. Tom risked his life, for a piece of paper, one that he could simply remake in more time, which he would no longer have, because of a piece of paper. He thought that this small thing was worth more than his entire life,…show more content…
“Even as he watched, it was moving, slowly scraping along the edge, pushed by the breeze that pressed steadily against the building wall” (37). The paper kept moving further and further away from him, even as he watched. So, basically nothing was going Tom’s way because even when he made it, the previously-open window, was closed. The last thing that exempted situational irony was when he went on the ledge that he believed would fit his foot perfectly, but it was smaller than he thought it would be, making it harder for him to walk on. This was about the second time that he realized that work was not as important as his
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