Contents of a Dead Mans Packets

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In the story “Contents of a Dead Man’s Pocket” written by Jack

Finney, the main character named Tom goes through a near death

experience causing him to realize that ambitions are not all that life is

about, that his job is not more important than his wife, and that he is

missing out on life because of his ambitions. The conflict in this story is

a man versus self because Tom’s ambition clouded his judgement into

believing that his job was more important than his life, so important

that he risked his life for it.

Additionally, a conflict that comes up is how the husband spends

too much time on his work, he is focused too much on his job that he

ignores his life. This takes away time with wife, Clare, who goes out

alone often because Tom claims he has to work. Clare says, "You work

too much, though, Tom, and too hard." But Tom thinks to himself “it

was not actually true that he had to work tonight, though he very

much wanted to… this was his own project… and it could be

postponed.” This shows that he thinks more about his job that

anything else, its his main ambition which gives him time for anything

else. He is missing out on life and time with his wife while he can still

spend time with her. After his near death experience of almost falling

from an apartment twenty stories high, he realizes this and goes out

to meet her at the movie.

Also, he cannot get back inside of his apartment after climbing

out the window from his 20th floor apartment for the slip of paper that

flew out the window that had all his observations and notes for a new

grocery store display method because the window closed down on him

and he also cannot reach the slip of paper he went after. He is able to

get the slip of paper right before he is about to fall but regains his

balance. As he slowly makes his way back along the ledge of the

building towards the window, the...
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