Symbolism In Paul's Case

Words: 938
Pages: 4

Paul’s Case “Flowers” a symbol of beauty and defiance, a last gasp of picturesque outer qualities to combat the dreadful nature of reality itself. Paul, a person of great beauty and defiance does indeed resemble his red carnations. Cather specifically employs the literary use of symbolism in the quote “His teachers felt this afternoon that his [Paul’s] whole attitude was symbolized by his shrug and his flippantly red carnation flower, and they fell upon him without mercy, his English teacher leading the pack.” Within the story “Paul’s Case” Cather’s message to her particular audience conveys the message that happiness is a product of material wealth and possessions, wealth being futile leads to the ultimate demise of happiness and ultimately life.
Paul’s life according to himself could be summed up as “dreadful.” Nothing is to his liking whatsoever. The colors of his bedroom are wrong, the odors are wrong, everything in life is wrong. Paul specifically takes a liking to the fine arts and high society. He works at a concert hall where people of higher classes congregate. He fancies and identifies with this particular crowd. Cather previously noted how disliked Paul is in the community and among his colleagues. He is an
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Humans in turn are left with nothing, no hope, no happiness, and no purpose. Paul a perfect example of this, he embarks on a futile and fleeting journey into wealth, which once tasted and gone leaves him with nowhere to turn. He has no hope, happiness or purpose. He ultimately resorts to suicide without regretting his materialistic journeys. Cather’s use of characterization, symbolism, diction and tone allows the readers to effectively come to the conclusion happiness comes through the pursuit of wealth, and eventually the end of man’s