To view it, click here. A man stays home to work on his notes, while his wife goes to the movies, so that he can get a promotion at his department store job. A gust of wind sends the only copy of his important notes out the window and onto the ledge. The man risks his life as he crawls out onto the ledge to grab the piece of paper and gets stuck outside.
Clare and Tom Benecke are a young married couple residing in an eleventh-story apartment on Lexington Avenue in New York. As Clare leaves, a draft sends Tom's fact sheet of yellow paper out the opened window as the door closes.
Running to the window, Tom sees the sheet lying a yard away on the ledge: After working two months on this data sheet, Tom determines to retrieve it, calculating that he can be back to the window in less than two minutes. Impulsively, he steps out onto the ledge, edging his way to the corner where another apartment that juts out holds the sheet.
Tom lowers his body, but he cannot quite reach it, so he must duck his head an inch lower. With the top of his head and his knees pressed against the brick, he lowers his right shoulder so his fingers can pull loose the paper.
But, in so doing, Tom sees the street below and "a violent instantaneous explosion of absolute terror" runs through him.
Paralyzed with the fear of death, it became impossible for Tom to walk back. Out of "utter necessity" Tom forces his feet to move.
No one glances upward. All they'd find in his pockets would be the yellow sheet. Contents of the dead man's pockets, he thought, one sheet of paper bearing penciled notations—incomprehensible.
At this point Tom has a revelation: With Lexington Avenue far below and his fingers pressed down on the narrow stripping, he musters all the strength he can, Tom shoots his arm forward toward the glass, shouting "Clare!
Once inside, Tom simply spreads the crumpled yellow sheet on his desk, placing a pencil across it to weigh it down. Walking to the closet, he gets his topcoat and hat, and opens the front door. This time Tom Benecke, whose priorities have changed, bursts into laughter as he closes the door behind him.“Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket” is a short story by Jack Finney, originally published by both Good Housekeeping and Collier’s in The story is a suspenseful tale of a man who travels onto a precarious window ledge to retrieve the papers he believes will make his career.
Create a storyboard that shows the evolution of Tom Benecke throughout the course of "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket". Use the Character Evolution Template to get started.
Break the story down into Exposition, Conflict/Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. shoved into his back pockets again, he called, “Clare?” When his wife answered, he said, “Sure you don’t mind going alone?” B 10 20 Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket by Jack Finney 1.
flimsy n.: thin paper used for typing carbon copies. Before computers and copying machines, copies of business communications were made with carbon paper. 2. "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket" is a short story by Jack Finney.
In this category, you can learn all about this story, from the characters and setting to the mood and theme. Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets. Jack Finney. At the little living-room desk Tom Benecke rolled two sheets of flimsy and a heavier top sheet, carbon paper sandwiched between them, into his portable.
The opening sentence of "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket" shows the primitive way in which many important documents were typed in the days before word processors: At the little living-room desk.