Breakthroughs Essay

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Breakthroughs Essay

A breakthrough is a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development that a person has. Characters in stories often experience many breakthroughs. They are often described as the “ah-ha!” moments in a story. In the stories “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket” and “By the Waters of Babylon” there are many breakthroughs that the characters experience.

Tom’s first breakthrough in “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket” was retrieving the

yellow sheet. “But by ducking his head another inch lower, the top of his head now pressed

against the bricks, he lowered his right shoulder and his fingers had the paper by a corner, pulling it

loose” (19). This is important because he chose to stay home and work on that memo instead of

going to the movies with his wife.

His second breakthrough was breaking the window and getting back into his apartment. This is shown on page 26. “He heard the sound, felt the blow, felt himself falling forward, and his hand closed on the living room curtains, the shards and fragments of glass showering onto the floor” (26). This breakthrough

is important because without breaking the window to get back into his apartment, he probably would have fallen off the ledge to his death.
His third breakthrough was realizing that his life and spending time with his wife was more important than his work and money. “There he got out his top coat and hat and, without waiting to

put them on, opened the front door and stepped out, to go find his wife” (26). This is important

because it is the overall lesson learned in the story.

John’s first breakthrough in “By the Waters of Babylon” was arriving at the Place of the

Gods.“Nevertheless when I had dried my bowstring and restrung it, I walked forward to the Place

of the Gods” (179). This is important because John finally fulfills his dream of going to the Place

of the Gods.

His second breakthrough is when he discovers that

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