Paul 's Case was and still is one of Willa Cather 's best stories which reflects the point of view of an underprivileged young man in the old Pittsburg of the 1900s. Willa describes the main character Paul as an overwhelming mystery that no one seems to understand or accept. . Paul 's Case is the source of several different themes such as the dangers of misusing money and the addictiveness of art. The theme least analyzed in Cather 's short’s is the homosexual nature of the main character which explains the rejection and alienation from society that Paul presents in the story. Homosexuality has been controversial and strongly debated topic since the 19th. Today in the 21st-century Homosexuality is still around and is accepted by society more than ever before, although, there are still cases of discrimination. Daniel Ashley Pierce from Atlanta, Georgia was a victim of discrimination due to his sexual orientations. The theme of homosexuality in Willa Cather 's short story "Paul 's Case" can be compared to this specific event relating the social, family and personal issues that these two characters present. Society has always been a big conflict for homosexuals. The society of the late 1900s was a lot more reserved and close-minded that the one today; for Paul and even Willa Cather herself this was an issue. Cather created certain scenarios in which society just does not seem to be on Paul 's side specifically because of his sexual orientation. At school, Paul is harassed by
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In the story “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather, Paul is a teenager, who is misunderstood by many. He hates the life he lives around all the people who are familiar to him but dreams about the life he wish he had when he is around all of the rich people at Carnegie Hall. In this story with a tragic ending, Paul chases the life he wishes he had and takes his own life when he realizes how out of reach it actually is. The shift in point of view in the passage contributes to the understanding of Paul’s alienation by giving the audience an opportunity to see how others view him and how he views himself.
“Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather is set in Cordelia Street of Pittsburgh and then in New York, telling of Paul who is unhappy with his life and yearns for the elite and cultured. Considering “Paul’s Case” as a dramatisation of being bi-polar, both the setting and symbolism of the short story becomes two of the most important elements demonstrate it.
Paul also openly criticizes conformity frequently throughout the story. Paul’s criticisms can be seen in his detailed observations of people and their routines. However, none of these criticisms compare to Paul’s hate for his home on Cordelia Street. Cather describes Cordeila Street, noting that all the houses are identical, as well as its inhabitants. Following the description of the street, Cather describes Paul’s hatred for his mediocrity plagued home is expressed: “Paul never went up Cordelia Street without a shudder of loathing… he approached it to-night with the nerveless sense of defeat, the hopeless feeling of sinking back forever into ugliness and commonness that he had always had when he came home”(Pg. 5). Later on in the story, while Paul is in New York and is contemplating his fear of being reprimanded for his actions, he constantly reminds himself of the painful existence that awaits him on Cordelia Street: “It was to be worse than jail, even; the tepid waters of Cordelia Street were to close over him finally and forever. The grey monotony stretched before him in hopeless, unrelieved years”(Pg. 13). Cather seems to use Cordiela street as a all-encompassing metaphor for conformist society; and Paul’s individuality and hate for Cordiela Street serves as the contrasting element, in turn becoming the most
The movie, on the other hand, casts Eric Roberts who does not fit this description at all. He is tall, good-looking, and his well-developed body is inconsistent with Cather's Paul. His age does not even to appear to be appropriate, because he is supposed to be a boy the age of seventeen. Roberts looks to be more in his twenties. These discrepancies will confuse the watcher of the movie. If he did not read the text, he will not know what kind of person Paul is supposed to be according to Cather.
The antagonist of this story is Paul’s father who just wants his son to be normal. Through out the story, only one side of Paul’s father is shown. This means that Paul’s father is a flat character. Paul’s father is a strict man and expects more out of Paul. But more is easier said then done because of Paul’s deep depression that everyone sees but does nothing about. When Cather writes, “his father called at the principle…” on page one, this shows that Paul’s father does want what is best for him by calling the school to explain Paul’s behavior. Also, on page nine, Cather writes, “… the young man who was daily held up to Paul as a model….” This quote shows that Paul’s Father has it in
When Paul, the main character, decides to abandon his childhood home to travel to his ideal city of New York, he eventually succumbs to the bitter reality of his own struggle with depression. “It was the old depression exaggerated; all the world had become Cordelia Street” (Cather 21). In Paul’s Case, by Willa Cather, the author writes of the depression-ridden Paul who attempted to convince himself that his appreciation and admiration of his dreams were nothing less than ideal, but they ultimately morphed into obsessions that failed. Despite Paul’s limited glimpses into his greatest hopes of living a life well beyond his current lifestyle, it was one he eventually realized he could never attain. Paul believed he could convince himself and the world, that Cordelia Street was where he started, but the lavish life of a New Yorker would be where he—not only deserved to be—but where he was meant to be. Despite his efforts, he ultimately fell. The aspects that made Paul resent Cordelia Street were aspects he discovered everywhere else—including New York City.
In her short story "Paul's Case," Willa Cather tells the tale of a young boy's struggle to separate himself from his common, everyday life and the people he shared it with. Paul admired the opulence of the theater, the wardrobe, the perfumes, the lights, the colors, the flowers, and the champagne. When he realized it wasn't possible to have these things, he threw his life away. Cather's purpose was to show that, by focusing on what he didn't have, Paul could not live at all.
Imposed expectations, social pressures and uniformity are also thematic concerns paralleled in “Paul’s Case”. Paul, like the girl, is an aspiring individualist, trapped in the conformist-stricken city of Pittsburg. The setting, for one, is a time where wealth and industry ruled the nation. Paul is secluded to the “tepid waters” of Cordelia Street, a microcosm of the “commonness” of the world he despises. Cordelia is depicted as a “respectable street”, where “all the houses are exactly alike” and where “all of whom are exactly as their homes.” This young boy wishes to deviate from the “accepted” view that education is key and every son must follow in his father’s footsteps. Paul thrives on being a “model usher” at a local theatre as opposed to devoting himself to arithmetic and school. While his father wants him to be a “model man”, looked upon as a “man with a
He takes his obsession of proving to his peers how special he is by showing them “autographed pictures of all the members of the stock company…telling them of his familiarity with these people” (Cather 219). However, in actuality, his contact and similarities with the actors of Carnegie Hall is minimal, and he remains an outsider. He is removed from the actual life of these people, but feels he is engaged in it. By thinking of himself extraordinarily, but having no aspirations, Paul becomes “the adolescent longing for something-anything-different. Defiantly unproductive, he fails to “develop” himself” (Herring). Paul ignores his lack of talents and focuses his sense of superiority above the population of Pittsburgh to his interpersonal relations with the actors at Carnegie Hall in New York City. While Paul may have no talent, or desire for talent, he continues to exhibit his egocentrism behind a cover of arrogance and lack of empathy.
Analysis of "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather In Willa Cather’s short story “Paul’s Case,” Paul, the main character, lives in a world that he feels trapped in. As soon as Paul gets expelled from school and banned from the places in his life that fill him with joy, Paul decides to escape the life he lives in any way possible. Willa Cather’s use of figurative language and characterization provides a stark portrayal of the hopelessness stemming from feeling trapped in an oppressive life. The figurative language that the author uses to describe Paul’s gradual loss of hope of ever escaping his trap, Cordelia Street, provides an example of how life can trap and how it can destroy hope. One night, upon completion of his work as an usher at Carnegie Hall, Paul follows a singer to her
The short story “Paul’s Case”, written by Willa Cather, follows the life of Paul, a narcissistic daydreamer who suffers from depression. Many people disregard the weather as an important part of the setting, however, it is a major point of symbolism in “Paul’s Case” as well as an explanation for Paul’s feelings. Paul’s moods mirror and are effected by the weather in which he is living, winter, and are equally effected by allusions of spring.
In Paul’s Case, Willa Cather uses the metaphor of Cordelia Street to demonstrate the hopelessness and entrapment that Paul feels, therefore suggesting the impossibility of homosexual love at this time in history. Cordelia Street, in comparison to what Paul sees in New York City is desolate, dismal, and oppressive. Although he only
1. Paulie Calafiore - Well, it just seems he is marching his way to victory and no one cares. Paulie has the entire house in the palm of his hands and they will do whatever he states. Paul did his dirty work for him this week by taking Da 'vonne out for him, someone who was loyal to Paul and not coming after him. Props to the game that Paulie is playing, but I feel the double eviction is where he is he most vulnerable.
In the story of Paul’s Case by Willa Cather, Paul is observed as the uneducated, poverty-lined boy in a severely distressed situation. Paul is seen by his teachers as a disturbance and a sheer nuisance in the classroom. During the review of his suspension, the teachers all form their crude opinions of his situation, and glare at the red carnation dawning the button hole of his shirt. “This
The protagonist in Willa Cather's short story, "Paul's Case," is adolescent named Paul. Paul's problem is that he has trouble following rules. Paul has a problem with various kinds of authorities including his teachers, principal, and father. From Paul's perspective, his problem is society. Society does not conform to him and repeatedly makes attempts on him to conform to it. Paul is disgusted, repulsed, and bored by middle class life in Pittsburgh. Paul's real problem is that he lacks perspective. This is a young man that is ferociously hungry for life outside of a small town or small city, which is partially the reason why he steals $1,000 and flees to New York City. Paul does not have an appropriate outlet through which to explore and channel his exuberant and odd energy. It is only when he is committing suicide by throwing himself in front of an oncoming train that he is capable of imagining a life both outside of the life he left behind, but not so far outside in the margins of society that cannot be a contributing member of society. Paul craves new experiences that expand his horizons and challenge him in ways unknown to him in his life back in Pittsburgh. His lack of perspective keeps him from being available to the myriad of choices he has in life but does not yet see. Ironically, it is only when his life is about to conclude when he realizes how much he wants to live and do. These feelings are often expressed by people who have