Contents Of The Dead Mans Pocket Essay Topics

The author of "Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets" noted how materialism grew in the 1950's after World War II, and he became disturbed by how much the drive for material success and for possessions was absorbing people. Consequently, Finney's protagonists find themselves trapped in the modern, technological world and return to their families and a more natural and simpler life.

In his rather long story, Finney illustrates how Tom Benecke loses sight of what...

The author of "Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets" noted how materialism grew in the 1950's after World War II, and he became disturbed by how much the drive for material success and for possessions was absorbing people. Consequently, Finney's protagonists find themselves trapped in the modern, technological world and return to their families and a more natural and simpler life.

In his rather long story, Finney illustrates how Tom Benecke loses sight of what really matters in his life as he stresses his advancement in business to the exclusion of his wife and their married life. Tom is so obsessed with gaining a promotion that when all his data which he has collected for weeks wafts out his eleventh story window, he steps out onto the ledge of the apartment building and risks death in order to retrieve it. Unfortunately, while he is out there, the window he has opened slams shut. 

It would be four hours before she could possibly be home, and he tried to picture himself kneeling out her, fingertips hooked to these narrow strippings....

Tom knows he cannot wait until Tom's wife Clare returns home. It will be too late. When he realizes that he could die out there, Tom thinks about his "wasted life." Finally, he is able to break the window and enter his apartment. Tom knows now that "the most important things in life are not things." This theme is at the heart of the story. The material object has no value unless you give it to someone. This is truly a theme.

"Contents of a Dead Man's Pocket" is a story written by Jack Finney. The short story first appeared in two different magazines in 1956, Good Housekeeping and Collier's.

The story tells of a man (Tom Benecke) who is preparing a memo for a display method, he has created, for a grocery store. His work, readers come to find, is far more important than going to the movies with his wife, Clare. She leaves for...

"Contents of a Dead Man's Pocket" is a story written by Jack Finney. The short story first appeared in two different magazines in 1956, Good Housekeeping and Collier's.

The story tells of a man (Tom Benecke) who is preparing a memo for a display method, he has created, for a grocery store. His work, readers come to find, is far more important than going to the movies with his wife, Clare. She leaves for the movies alone.

As Tom is working, a wind picks up his work and it flies out of the window. Knowing that this piece of paper is essential for a promotion, Tom decides that he must do whatever it takes to retrieve it. Tom goes out onto the ledge.

Soon after going out onto the ledge, Tom is able to get the paper. Unfortunately, Tom begins to panic as he sees how far up he is. After trying many things to get help, and to get back into his home (yelling, throwing  a coin, setting a fire to pieces of paper), Tom is able to break the window (which has closed) to gain entry into his home.

Once in, Tom sets the data sheet down on the table and decides to go meet his wife at the movies. Unfortunately, a gust of wind, again, picks up the paper and sends it out of the window again. Undeterred, Tom exits the apartment to meet his wife.

The title of the story comes from the fact that Tom will only be able to be identified by the few things in his pockets (if he is to fall from the ledge and die). In his pocket he carries only the sheet of data needed for his, hoped for, promotion.

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