paul's case Essay

Submitted By audience221
Words: 473
Pages: 2

In the short story “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather, the protagonist, Paul, turns his back on his morals to pursue for his splendid American Dream. Paul is an arrogant student who values himself in a high position and believes that everyone one else is beneath him. He has fell in love with all those artificial, luxurious elements in the Carnegie Hall that provides him imaginary self-worth. Unfortunately, when his lies were exposed and his job got taken away, Paul’s world is shattered. To escape from his mundane, ugly reality, Paul commits the crime of stealing, which causes his tragic downfall. At the beginning of the story, Paul seems to be a classic teenage boy who gets into trouble for causing problems during class time. As the story progresses, the reader can infer that Paul is quite introvert. He would choose to live in his fantasy world instead of confronting reality. Paul is reluctant to return home after the Carnegie Hall performances. The theater and Carnegie Hall was where Paul "really lived". (pg 202) To him, the rest of his life was only "a sleep and a forgetting". (pg 202) The moment Paul stepped into either one of those places; he felt he was in his element as he "breathed like a prisoner set free". (pg 202) Paul's life was so monotonous and cheerless in comparison to his theater life, which he felt was his “fairy tale”. (pg 202) This alone provides insight into his character, as Paul is likely an unrealistic person who is not fulfilled with his status currently. Paul is personally a high self-esteem teenage; he could not handle the difficulties that he encountered as it leads him to commit the crime of stealing. Paul admired the opulence of the theater, the perfumes, the lights, the colors, the flowers, the champagne and all those luxurious and gracious items. He is a