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Pauls Case Essay

  • Submitted by: ryank2587
  • on March 18, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,277 words

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Below is an essay on "Pauls Case" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Tragic Desire
In Willa Cather’s short story “Paul’s Case”, Paul makes selfish adolescent decisions to feed his desire for a wealthy and upper class lifestyle.   Paul’s struggles to break apart from what his life is and what he wants it to be.   Paul’s family and mentors send him into a sea of lies and fables that he uses to create his perfect world.   There is always something we may want and cannot have but we will make moves to try to achieve them.   As Cather explains: “He had no desire to become an actor, any more than he had to become a musician… what he wanted was to see, to be in the atmosphere, float on the wave of it, to be carried out, blue league after blue league, away from everything” (Cather ).   He arrives at these visions of the perfect life for himself from that of artists and musicians he interacts with throughout the story.   This desire grows overwhelmingly strong, overtaking his mind to make an unrealistic world for himself, leading to a downward spiral that ultimately makes him take his own life.
Deviant and outlandish lies towards Paul’s lifestyle are his easy way out of reality.   He begins with disrespect towards the faculty in his high school in Pittsburg.   Paul has no real desire towards school as a result he is suspended from school.   During a meeting set up by his father to him back in school, Paul’s demeanor in eminent when he walks in.   “Paul entered the faculty room suave and smiling” ( Willa Cather 212)   A red carnation flower he wears on his coat   during the meeting gives further insult towards the staff, “This latter adornment the faculty somehow felt was not properly significant of the contrite spirit befitting a boy under the ban of suspension”( 212).   Paul takes this red flower throughout the story to symbolize his repulses toward the earth beneath him.   Paul is asked by his principal why he wants to be there.   Paul states that he wants to be, this of course is a lie.   Further evidence is given when Paul states, “This was a lie...

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