An Analysis Of Paul's Ideal

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During a person’s lifetime, they set goals and dream about a perfect reality. These goals are known as ideals and they are, most of the time, an unattainable target. Ideals seem most prominent and possible during a person’s high school years, these are the years that a person is in the halfway point between imagination and reality. They can see their goals, but are not sure how to achieve them. These questions start a fire within that person, a drive, to fight for an ideal that they feel most strongly for. When this happens it can affect a person in a positive or negative way. One of the more positive ways is that with that drive a person creates a strong sense of determination, but on the other side when an individual sets their sights on…show more content…
Paul lives on Cordelia Street, right next to the minister, where everything and everyone is the same in their upbringing and mannerisms. In attempt to place himself on a higher pedestal, Paul is terribly disrespectful to his teachers. “...the contempt which they all knew he felt for them, and which he seemingly made not the least effort to conceal.” (171) Paul made the teachers uncomfortable, whenever they saw him outside of school they would avoid him at all costs. Specifically, Paul goes out of his way to make his English teacher feel unwelcome not only in school, when he strikes her, but also when he notices her at Carnegie Hall one night. Narrowing his eyes, Paul “had the feeling of wanting to put her out; what business had she here among all the fine people and gay colours” (173). Though he feels defensive, Paul has enough common sense to not cause a commotion in a place that he respects. Carnegie Hall is a tremendous contrast between Cordelia Street and Paul’s attitude regarding both reflects that. “The moment he turned into Cordelia Street he felt the waters close above his head.” (175) Paul’s disdain towards the street he lives on follows him home as well, as the house Paul lives in just amplified his attitude of “I’m better than you are”. Every time he reaches Cordelia Street and “The nearer he approached the…show more content…
In his mind, Paul is trapped in Pittsburgh but he has not thought of how to escape its concrete confines quite yet. He is very arts oriented and spends most of his time at Carnige Hall being an usher and dreaming about the performers exciting lives. When the symphony starts Paul sits in the very back row “with a long sigh of relief, and lost himself as he had done before the Rio.” (173) Paul would faithful spend all day at the hall being an usher if it meant being able to imagine himself in someone else's fantasies for a night. When the nights are over he trudges home, wishing he was following the carriage with the performers in it and enter their lavish lifestyle. To Paul, Pittsburgh is a living nightmare that soon he will escape from. One day Paul is trusted with some money and “From the time he slipped the banknotes into his pocket until he boarded the night train for New York, he had not known a moment's hesitation.” (181) This is Paul’s great escape and he feels light and free while wandering the streets of New York with all the fame and fortune down every corner. He thrives under the fancy lights, soft silk clothing, and the brightness of New York and he does not have a worry in the world, until one day when he picks up a newspaper and reads the headline news. Paul’s father is coming for him. From this point on Paul is in a frenzy; he tries to decided how long his money will last him, what will he do if
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