What are the three events, one cause and two effects, in the paragraph quoted?"In the fractional moment before horror paralyzed him, as he stared between his legs at the terrible length of the...

What are the three events, one cause and two effects, in the paragraph quoted?

"In the fractional moment before horror paralyzed him, as he stared between his legs at the terrible length of the street far beneath him, a fragment of his mind raised his body in a spasmodic jerk to an upright position again, but so violently that his head scraped hard against the wall, bouncing, and he very nearly plunged backward and fell."

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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In Jack Finney's painfully suspenseful and horribly ironic short story "Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets," the cause in the paragraph quoted,

In the fractional moment before horror paralyzed him, as he stared between his legs at that terrible length of street far beneath him, a fragment of his mind raised his body in a spasmodic jerk to an upright position again, but so violently that his head scraped hard against the wall, bouncing off it, and his body swayed outward to the knife edge of balance, and he very nearly plunged backward and fell. Then he was leaning far into the corner again, squeezing and pushing into it, not only his face but his chest and stomach, his back arching; and his finger tips clung with all the pressure of his pulling arms to the shoulder-high half-inch indentation in the bricks.

is the site and perspective Tom Benecke saw when he looked down to the street below: "[Tom] stared between his legs at that terrible length of street far beneath him." This look and the site it forced upon him caused two results, or affects, that were not automatic, that is to say not in Tom's conscious control.

The first affect was that "a fragment of his mind" forced a flight response [from his amygdala brain center] that jerked his body from a leaning-over position to an "upright position again." This would have been an unqualified good affect if it hadn't been for the nature of the second affect.

The second affect of the initial cause of seeing the street perspective was that the jerking body motion, not consciously activated by Tom, threw him so violently upright that his head hit and bounced off of the brick wall (which was facing) of the building that he was on the wrong side of.

This bounce had a corollary affect in that he was thrown backward to what Finney calls the "knife edge of balance" where a metaphoric or literal breeze or pigeon's feather could tip him one way or the other. But in a conscious reaction to the second affect of the original cause, Tom forced himself back against the brick wall again where he clung with his whole body and the "pressure of his pulling arms."

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