What does the yellow sheet of paper symbolize in "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket" by Jack Finney?

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In the opening paragraph of the story, the protagonist, Tom Benecke, glances at "a creased yellow sheet, covered with his own handwriting." Upon seeing the yellow sheet, Benecke says, to himself, "Hot in here." At the end of the paragraph, having just recalled his wife, he says, "Hot, no - guilty conscience." From this first paragraph then, the yellow sheet of paper seems to symbolize the protagonist's guilt. We subsequently discover that Benecke feels guilty for spending so much time away from his wife.

A little later in the story, the yellow sheet of paper is blown by a gust of wind out of the apartment window. Benecke panics because he has written onto the yellow sheet of paper "facts, quotations, and figures" pertaining to his "idea for a new grocery-store display method." The information written on the yellow sheet of paper represents the evidence he needs to make his idea credible. The yellow sheet of paper also represents "countless hours" of hard work, and, more to the point, the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 663 words.)

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