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The same kind of thinking applies to the reason for the argument with his wife. He needs to see himself as more than just Margaret's husband. He needs to stop caring so much what others think of him and he needs to begin to see the world through his own eyes and not through "blind" eyes or through the surrogate eyes of others. It is only when he is left completely alone that he can begin to piece together the puzzle.

Bellow is a master of juxtaposition because it seems as though he is saying that truth can only be reached through paradox and through confusion. After his raving fit of anger, Tommy goes out into the street and is able to begin to see humanity once more: he sees "motive" and "essence." Tommy thinks, "I labor, I spend, I strive, I design, I love, I cling, I uphold, I give way, I envy, I long, I scorn, I die, I hide, I want." Tommy can see these basic human needs in people because he can, for once, clearly see them in himself and so a moment of solidarity is again juxtaposed against a moment of terrible angst and isolation.

Furthermore, it takes the death of a stranger for Tommy to come to a complete rebirth. It is only through distance and separation, ironically, then that Tommy can achieve understanding. There is distance between those who have caused him grief and there is a rare "distance" the dead human being that will lead him to understanding. The understanding comes in the form of tears—water. Finally, water has become a redeeming force, after having been such a dangerous one throughout. Water symbolizes, here, a kind of rebirth. The tears are a "happy oblivion," and they lead him to the "consummation of his heart's ultimate need." In the course of one day, Tommy has learned his hearts desires and has learned to melt away his mask and armor. He has used his "day of reckoning," wisely, for once. He began this chapter using his father's language but ends the chapter with a discovery of his own language: feeling, tears, and love.