Contents of a Dead Man's Pocket

312 Words2 Pages
The theme of Jack Finney’s “Contents of a Dead Man’s Pocket” conveys the idea that people should prioritize family over work, fame, and money. In the beginning of the short story, the main character Tom Benecke shows that he symbolizes all the characteristics of a workaholic and that he prioritizes his job over his own family. He presents this when he rejects going to the movies with his wife and lies that he has to work because he felt he needed to get “get ahead in the game” to be on top. The yellow paper in his point of view was the key, it had all the information of facts, stacks, figures, and quotations that he had spent all of his countless hours working on which then flies out the window and Tom goes out the window and tries to retrieve it. Due to the fact Tom being on the ledge, he eventually realizes that if he falls from the ledge, the yellow sheet of paper becomes nothing more than “contents of the dead man’s pockets...a wasted life” (156). After he finally retrieves the yellow piece of paper, Tom makes his way back to his window but it appears closed shut so after he kicks it open, he falls inside and then makes his way to get his jacket so he can leave his apartment to meet his wife. As soon as he opens the door, the yellow piece of paper flies back out the window; this time he doesn’t care about it and just laughs. Now, because of Tom having his near death experience, he realizes that he must prioritize his family and his life above his job and that senseless piece of paper. This short story portrays that in one’s life, work can be one of your priorities but the biggest priority should be your life and
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