What is important about the final scene of Seize the Day?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It seems to me the final scene of the work, where Tommy Wilhelm, openly cries at the funeral of an unknown man captures much of what has been transpiring within the main character.  It seems to me that his crying is the penultimate realization of the title.  It is the first time in the novel where Tommy simply drops his rationalizations, calculations, and deductions and simply gives in to the moment, to his emotions, to his state of being in the world.  His crying indicates the sum total of all his ventures.  Rather than seek to appropriate his dreams in accordance to his own subjectivity, he weeps for them, for himself.  He seizes the moment to weep openly at his failures, at his shortcomings, at how the reality of his life did not mirror anything of its dreams.  His tears at this unknown person's funeral indicate that he has recognized his own failures.  One can only hope that such a cathartic moment could yield something in terms of a new beginning with a better sense of self.  His railings against the money driven nature of society, his desire to be a profitable part of it, his antagonisms with his father and ex wife all have been realized in the final scene.  In a world where few others would weep for him, he must seize the opportunity to weep for what might have been, what could have been, and what is.