Throughout the beginning of Odds Against Tomorrow we see Mitchell as a brilliant mathematician and in the very beginning he is narrated as a great man, but we don’t know why. On page four the narrator says put out the image of Zukor with his face on t-shirts and posters and imagine him as a college student. This painted an image for a brief moment one very contrary to the Mitchell Zukor we get to know over the next hundred pages or so. Zukor is a meek man living in constant crippling terror of catastrophe, far from the image of a man with his face plastered on the fronts of magazines. He works at a dead end job for Fitzsimmons until Alec Charnoble offers him a job at FutureWorld. Even then my mind hearkened back to the man I saw idolized in the first paragraph. Even as he makes more money than he can spend and is making Charnoble’s business very successful the two men did not meld in my mind, he was still plagued by fear.
It’s not until Jane that we see Zukor really thrive. FutureWorld had already given him his element, but when Jane enters his life we begin to see confidence in Mitchell. The two exchange witty banter and word play on FutureWorld. “Its a matter of death and death” (115). This is some of the most profound moments we see Zukor being carefree and comical. The storm Tammy combined with the confidence instilled in him by Jane pushes Zukor to be the man we see depicted in the beginning of the novel. “You can trust me,…The crazy thing was that he actually believed it” (170) Here after a dark scene of looters we see Zukor protecting Jane and being completely unconcerned with the worst case scenario. “He was in no kind of physical shape, but as the day had progressed, he felt stronger.” (193). Even though Mitchell still had to cross the Hudson river he felt powerful and in control in the single most chaotic event in his life. Zukor gains fortitude in the face of what he feared most. This is a characteristic of a great man.
I think that surviving Tammy made Mitchell Zukor much stronger.