Stephen R. Covey 's Contents Of A Dead Man 's Pockets
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Stephen R. Covey said, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” In today’s society, many people put work and career pursuits at the top of their metaphorical list of priorities. In a world driven a million miles an hour by commercial success, it is a wonder anyone has time to “stop and smell the roses” with the people they care about. In “Contents of a Dead Man’s Pockets”, Jack Finney expresses the importance of enjoying life rather than chasing fruitless ambition through extensive symbolism and a touch of satire. At the beginning of the story, as main character Tom Benecke is organizing papers on his desk, he remarks on how hot it is in his apartment - showing that he feels stifled and…show more content… He decides that there is nothing long enough in the apartment. As has been established, the apartment here symbolizes Tom’s enjoyable elements of life, so this decision represents Finney’s idea that one cannot focus on ambition and work without leaving behind the nice things in life. Tom’s reflection shortly thereafter on all of the time spent on his project emphasizes the colossal waste of his life that his ambitions are. Finney says about these side projects, “They were the way to change from a name on a payroll to a name in the minds of the company officials. They were the beginning of the long, long climb to where he was determined to be, at the very top,” and goes on to say, “And he knew he was going out there in the darkness, after the yellow sheet fifteen feet beyond his reach.” These statements establish the connection between the darkness and his project (representing ambition as a whole) for the first time. Tom Benecke decides to go out and chase his ambitions by walking along the ledge on the building. Jack Finney proceeds to set up his satirical scramble for power.
Tom climbs out the window and is struck by the shift from the warmth and comfort of his home to the cold, harsh outdoors. Tom Benecke begins to grow scared and uncomfortable perched there in the dark. He stays calm and retrieves the page, but panics as he looks down. He moves back towards the window, slowly