Pauls Case Analysis Essay

Words: 963
Pages: 4

When Dreams Come True Few people, even in today's world, are truly open-minded to the differences of others. They decide at an early age what, they believe, is the right way to live. But what happens when a truly unique boy is brought up in an environment where he is forced to believe he only has one option in life? "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather is a short story beautifully illustrating a young boy fighting to hold on to his identity in a town where his dreams are looked down upon and criticized. His struggle is displayed through characterization, setting, and symbolism. Characterization sets the stage for the beginning of Paul's fatal battle. Paul is described as being different from what most consider a normal boy. A …show more content…
He took in every aspect with grace; "The flowers, the white linen, the many-colored wine glasses (499)." Every detail "flooded Paul's dream with bewildering radiance (499)." This simple change let Paul from misery to complete bliss. He was free from ridicule and his dreams seemed within reach.
Symbolism is significant throughout the story but is most noted toward the closing stages. After eight days of newly found peace, acceptance, and joy, Paul's dream was coming to an end. On Paul's way home, the scenery goes from energetic and beautiful to still and dead. The beautiful carnations in his coat began drooping, losing precious red petals. These both represent Paul withering away and slowly dying as he walked away from all he loved. He was walking away from his dream and his identity as New York grew further and further away. He had to return to Pittsburg, where the atmosphere killed everything he was. When Paul gingerly took one of the dying carnation blossoms and buried it in the snow, he let go of everything he was and wanted to be. This was the last thing he ever did before jumping in front of the train. But he, just like the flower, was already dead.
A dream came true for Paul in New York; but having it taken away after his brutal battle to reach it was more than he could bear. He was fighting for his individuality and his love in life; but one town's unwillingness to see, accept and