"Contents Of The Dead Man's Pocket"

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Secoboss2013
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Questions for the story (Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket)
by Yasser Ayman (SECO)


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    In an essay, identify what Tom values the most at the beginning of “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket.” Then, state what is most important to him at the end of the story. Explain why Tom’s experience on the ledge changed his values. 

  • 2. 

    “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket” contains both internal and external conflicts. In an essay, describe a conflict from the story and state whether it is an internal or external conflict. Then, tell how the conflict is resolved in the story.

  • 3. 

    At the beginning of the story, what seems to be the most important thing in Tom  Benecke’s life?  

    • A.

      Opening the window that always sticks

    • B.

      Going to the movies with his wife

    • C.

      Getting paid at the end of the week

    • D.

      Getting a promotion at work

    Correct Answer
    D. Getting a promotion at work
    Explanation
    In the beginning of the story, Tom Benecke's most important thing in his life seems to be getting a promotion at work. This is indicated by his obsession with his work, as he spends hours working on a report that could potentially lead to a promotion. He even neglects his personal life, such as going to the movies with his wife, because he is so focused on his career advancement.

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  • 4. 

    Which of the following events happened first in “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket”?  

    • A.

      Tom thought about what the police would find in his pockets.

    • B.

      Tom dropped coins from his pockets to the street below.

    • C.

      Tom watched his wife get ready to go out alone.

    • D.

      Tom smashed his fist through the window.

    Correct Answer
    C. Tom watched his wife get ready to go out alone.
  • 5. 

    Which of the following events causes Tom to go out on the ledge?  

    • A.

      Tom does research on store displays.

    • B.

      Clare goes to the movies alone.

    • C.

      Tom’s paper flies out the window.

    • D.

      Tom puts on his coat.

    Correct Answer
    C. Tom’s paper flies out the window.
    Explanation
    Tom goes out on the ledge because his paper flies out the window. This event suggests that Tom is trying to retrieve his paper that flew out of the window, which leads him to go out on the ledge.

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  • 6. 

    Which even in “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket” causes Tom to panic?  

    • A.

      His wife goes to the movies.

    • B.

      He sees the street below him.

    • C.

      He thinks about the contents of his pockets.

    • D.

      He sees a man reading a newspaper across the street.

    Correct Answer
    B. He sees the street below him.
    Explanation
    In the story "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket," Tom panics when he sees the street below him. This is because he is stuck on a ledge outside his apartment window, and the sight of the street reminds him of the danger he is in. He realizes that one wrong move could result in him falling to his death, which causes him to panic and desperately search for a way back inside.

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  • 7. 

    Which of the following is a moment of high suspense in the story?

    • A.

      Clare leaves.

    • B.

      Tom looks down and panics.

    • C.

      Tom stares through the window into his living room.

    • D.

      Tom sees the yellow paper fly out the window a second time.

    Correct Answer
    B. Tom looks down and panics.
    Explanation
    In the given options, the moment of high suspense in the story is when Tom looks down and panics. This suggests that something unexpected or alarming has happened, causing Tom to react with fear or anxiety. This moment creates tension and anticipation for the reader, as they wonder what has caused Tom's panic and what will happen next in the story.

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  • 8. 

    Why doesn’t Tom simply wait for his wife to come home and help him?

    • A.

      He thinks she probably would not notice him on the ledge.

    • B.

      She will become very angry if she comes home and finds him on the ledge.

    • C.

      She had left early to see the second feature and would not be home for hours.

    • D.

      He wants to get off the ledge and join her at the movies.

    Correct Answer
    C. She had left early to see the second feature and would not be home for hours.
    Explanation
    Tom doesn't simply wait for his wife to come home and help him because she had left early to see the second feature and would not be home for hours.

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  • 9. 

    Why does Tom change his attitude toward life?

    • A.

      His wife goes to the movies alone.

    • B.

      He almost falls off the ledge and dies.

    • C.

      He smashes his fist through the window.

    • D.

      The paper flies out the window again.

    Correct Answer
    B. He almost falls off the ledge and dies.
    Explanation
    Tom changes his attitude toward life because he has a near-death experience when he almost falls off the ledge. This incident likely makes him realize the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing it. It serves as a wake-up call for him to reevaluate his priorities and adopt a more positive and appreciative outlook on life.

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  • 10. 

    Often, a seemingly minor detail mentioned early in a short story becomes very important later. Which of the following details later becomes important to Tom’s efforts to get back into his apartment? 

    • A.

      The window is hard to open.

    • B.

      It is hot in the apartment.

    • C.

      Clare is slender and pretty.

    • D.

      Tom puts on his jacket.

    Correct Answer
    A. The window is hard to open.
    Explanation
    The window being hard to open becomes important to Tom's efforts to get back into his apartment because it creates a challenge for him. Tom may need to find a way to overcome this obstacle in order to gain entry into his apartment.

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  • 11. 

    Which of the following is an example of internal conflict in “contents of the Dead Man’s  Pocket”?  

    • A.

      Tom’s efforts to open the window.

    • B.

      Tom’s struggle to stay on the ledge.

    • C.

      Tom’s attempts to get someone’s attention.

    • D.

      Tom’s struggle to overcome his fear.

    Correct Answer
    D. Tom’s struggle to overcome his fear.
    Explanation
    In the story "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket," Tom experiences an internal conflict as he struggles to overcome his fear. Throughout the story, Tom is faced with the daunting task of retrieving a piece of paper from the ledge outside his apartment window. His fear of heights and the dangerous situation he finds himself in create a conflict within him. He must battle his own anxiety and find the courage to face his fear in order to accomplish his goal. This internal conflict adds tension and depth to the story as Tom's inner struggle becomes just as important as the external obstacles he faces.

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  • 12. 

    What does Tom decide the contents of his pockets would say about him if he were to  fall and die?

    • A.

      His life had been wasted.

    • B.

      He did not love his wife.

    • C.

      He should have gotten a promotion.

    • D.

      He was a selfish and foolish man.

    Correct Answer
    A. His life had been wasted.
    Explanation
    Tom believes that the contents of his pockets would reflect the state of his life if he were to fall and die. By concluding that his life had been wasted, it suggests that Tom feels regretful and unfulfilled. This implies that he believes his life lacked purpose or meaningful accomplishments.

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  • 13. 

    In “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket,” Tom has an important realization during his  terrible experience on the ledge. What is this realization?  

    • A.

      He will never get ahead at work.

    • B.

      He hasn’t put enough effort into his work.

    • C.

      He wants to spend more time with his wife.

    • D.

      He is going to fall off the ledge and die.

    Correct Answer
    C. He wants to spend more time with his wife.
    Explanation
    During his time on the ledge, Tom reflects on his life and realizes that he has been too focused on his work and has neglected his personal life, particularly his relationship with his wife. He realizes that spending more time with his wife is more important to him than any success or advancement in his career.

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  • 14. 

    What is “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket” mostly about?  

    • A.

      A man and the contents of the pockets

    • B.

      A man who does not think about his actions

    • C.

      A man and woman who go to the movies

    • D.

      A man whose desire for a promotion at work nearly kills him

    Correct Answer
    D. A man whose desire for a promotion at work nearly kills him
    Explanation
    The story "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket" is mostly about a man whose intense desire for a promotion at work puts his life at risk. The protagonist, Tom Benecke, becomes so consumed with his work that he neglects his personal life and safety. He climbs out onto a ledge outside his apartment window to retrieve an important piece of paper that flew out of the window. This decision nearly leads to his death as he becomes trapped on the ledge. The story explores themes of ambition, the consequences of neglecting one's personal life, and the value of human connection.

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  • 15. 

    Which of the following is an example of internal conflict in “Contents of the Dead Man’s  Pocket”?  

    • A.

      Tom’s efforts to get a promotion at work

    • B.

      Tom’s struggle to stay on the ledge

    • C.

      Tom’s attempts to get someone’s attention

    • D.

      Tom’s struggle to overcome his fear

    Correct Answer
    D. Tom’s struggle to overcome his fear
    Explanation
    In "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket," Tom experiences an internal conflict as he struggles to overcome his fear. Throughout the story, Tom is faced with the challenge of staying on a ledge outside his apartment window to retrieve an important piece of paper. Despite his fear of heights, he pushes himself to confront this fear and accomplish his goal. This internal conflict is depicted through Tom's internal thoughts and emotions as he battles with his own fear and doubts.

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