When is the work due that Tom Benecke is planning in "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket" by Jack Finney?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the exposition of Jack Finney's "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket," Tom Benecke types "tomorrow's date" at the top of an Interoffice Memo. So, Tom anticipates handing his boss his still unannounced idea for a new grocery-store display method at work the next day, Friday. Then, he contemplates how "they" (his co-workers) will not see the memo, or know of his idea, until Monday. But Tom wants to finish his memo by tomorrow so he can give it to "the boss...[who] might read it over the weekend." Therefore, although Tom wishes to complete his project by Friday so his boss can have it over the weekend, there is no due date to Tom's project because it is his own project idea and as yet unannounced to anyone else.

"This was his own project, unannounced as yet in his office, and it could be postponed."

So often in business and in other areas, the person who first proffers a new plan will receive more attention. Certainly, it would seem the most original if it is the first since no other one has been considered with which it can be likened or against which it can be evaluated. And, Tom lives in a time (post World War II) in which there is great economic competition, a competition that takes precedence over men's lives to the detriment of family life, as exemplified in Finney's story.

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