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The misconception and greed of human desire causes humans to treasure the wrong values. Tom was blinded and unable to value anything but work because of his greed. In “Content of the Dead man’s Pocket,” Jack Finney uses character choices, misconception of self and symbolism to show that being blinded by what’s important in life, is the result of selfish desire.Jack Finney uses character choices to show that Tom’s greed of being the best at the company causes him to lose sight of things important in life. He is willing to put in the extra hours and effort to be noticed by his superiors, and believes his relentless desire and obsessive determination will bring him there. The yellow sheet of paper that blew out the window is all that Tom needs to get the recognition of being a young and hardworking individual- ultimately being promoted. His opportunity to have his desire fulfilled has blown out the window, and the only thing on his mind was the get the paper back. It is clear that Tom needs to get the paper back, in order to get the recognition. “He couldn’t escape the thought, this and other independent projects, some already done and others planned for the future.” Tom chose to prioritize his work over his family, and had put all his interest in work and chose to values his work because of his “desire to be changed from a name on the payroll to a name in the minds of the company officials.”  Jack Finney uses Tom’s fixation and choice to value his job more than his wife, he was unable to see the important things in life, until he stepped out the window. His choice to sacrifice and risk anything in order to “climb to where he was determined to be,” causes him not to see the risk of his marriage his own life. The author uses Tom to mirror the American Dream. A man who chooses prioritizes anything that will help him achieve the success he desires.In the short story Tom was an extremely focused “office man,” and his wife Clare was a beautiful intelligent women. Clare was worried that “he works too much” and “too hard.” Tom would always mention how, “The money would come rolling in,” or how he would be the “the boy wizard of wholesale groceries,” if he stays home and works. He misunderstand and believes that getting the promotion would bring happiness to him and his wife. Tom’s ultimate goal was to get a promotion. If he got promoted he would be paid more, he would be able to live a better life. In order to achieve this, he set his focus on working harder than the other young men. Tom misunderstand his own values and his greed to live a better life from work. He had no idea that he was pushing his wife away because of his selfish ambition. Tom believed that working hard and getting a promotion would make him and his wife’s life better. Thinking that he was starting to live a better life, he doesn’t realize that he pushes away anything that would prevent him from achieving his goal. He prioritizes his free time working instead of going to the movies with his wife. He sacrifices his relationship with his wife in order to get what he wants. Tom forgets that the most important thing in life is family, and his illusion of happiness costs his to forget about the value of family.The author uses symbolism to show the before and after of the yellow piece of paper and Tom’s realization of his obsession with the paper. In the story, the yellow piece of paper presented his ambition for his career. This wasn’t just a piece of paper to Tom. It was month of hard work and intense thinking on a small sheet. He believes that it’s the key to his future, a better future for him and Clare. His connection to the paper can be shown when it flies out the window and “he ran across the room, grasped the bottom of the window and tugged.” The quote shows his desperation and need for him to get a promotion. “He carefully climbs out of the window and cautiously steps onto the slim ledge of the building.” After risking his life and retrieving the paper, the only obstacle left for him is the window. “He checks down to see if the paper is still there,” and hangs onto the ledge of the building. He thinks about how the small piece of paper would mean nothing to anyone if he falls. He realizes that hey would just find “the contents of a dead man’s pocket,” and it would mean nothing if he’s dead. He faces his fear and breaks the window down in realization that he had risked his life for work over family. Him walking down the ledge and grabbing the yellow paper showed how far he was going to go for his desire. It was only until he broke down the window did he realize his wife is more important. He laughs when the paper flew back out the window, now knowing that the paper should mean nothing to him. Jack Finney uses the symbolism to show how foolish Tom was all for his selfish desire.Jack Finney proves that selfish desire blocks humans from realizing the important values in life. He shows that character choices, misconception of oneself and symbolism had blurred Tom’s vision of what was important to him. Tom had realized that his work and desire had blurred his vision of his wife. He treasured his work over his wife, and had treasured the wrong values. Selfish desire and greed will stop you from valuing the most important things in life.


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