Contents Of a Dead Man's Pocket

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The author of “The Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket”, Jack Finney, develops suspense throughout the entire story. His detailed descriptions of the character’s fears as well as his use of red herrings maintains the reader’s feeling of suspense. Finney initiates a foreboding within the title, “Dead Man’s”, which immediately leads you to believe that a character will die. He also describes in great detail how close the character is to falling to his death at any second, and is in this danger for a majority of the story. The title “The Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket” creates a foreboding at the start of the story. This leads the reader to believe that the main character Tom Benecke will die, which turns out to be a red herring. The reader then experiences a sense of suspense when Tom’s paper flies out the window, and lands on an “ornamental ledge a lard below the window.” The reader already knows what this paper means to Tom, and therefore they know that Tom will go out onto the ledge to retrieve this paper. When Tom eventually goes out onto the ledge he finds it is only about the width the length of his shoe, and there is only a small space about half inch deep for his fingers to grip onto. He has to press himself against the wall to ensure that he won’t fall. Even still there is a slight chill breeze and it is night, making it just that more uncomfortable for Tom. When Tom finally was within reaching distance of his paper, he tried to kneel down to pick it up. His head was pressed hard against the bricks and his knees; “he could bend them no further.” He successfully grabbed the paper, and then made the horrible mistake of looking down. Eleven stories up, he looked down and saw the “the miles of traffic signals, the lights of cars and street lamps, countless neon signs, and the moving black dots of people.” This caused an explosion of absolute horror to rip
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