Theme of seclusion in willa cathers short story pauls case

This latter request he had to repeat, as his father, on principle, did not like to hear requests for money, whether much or little. However, the gun belonged to his father.

He would not wait to have his silver marked, View Image of Page 80 he said. All the actors and singers of the better class stayed there when they were in the city, and a number of the big manufacturers of the place lived there in the winter. The other plane of reality that Paul lives in has been released, and he is at the height of elation.

The carnations in his coat were drooping with the cold, he noticed, their red glory all over. Paul views the small economies of his neighbors disdainfully, believing that only he understands the best way of building wealth.

The boy set his teeth and drew his shoulders together in a spasm of realization; the plot of all dramas, the text of all romances, the nerve-stuff of all sensations was whirling about him like the snow-flakes. He seemed to hold in his brain an actual picture of everything he had seen that morning.

He approached it to-night with the nerveless sense of defeat, the hopeless feeling of sinking back forever into ugliness and commonness that he always had when he came home.

The snow was whirling in curling eddies above the white bottom-lands, and the drifts lay already deep in the fields and along the fences, while here and there the long dead grass and dried weed stalks protruded black above it.

Paul's Case Summary

It was the old depression exaggerated; all the world had become Cordelia Street. He devised a scheme to steal money from his employer and then ran away to New York City where he stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, living for a few days the life of his dreams. This the girls thought very fine, and the neighbors always joked about the suspicious color of the pitcher.

When the flowers came, he put them hastily into water, and then tumbled into a hot bath. This was a lie, but Paul was quite accustomed to lying; found it, indeed, indispensable for overcoming friction. Paul had started back with a shudder and thrust his hands violently behind him.

The end of the story is also interesting. He is bored with school and hates his shabby room at home and his middle-class neighbors and the street where he lives.

There he stood, holding his breath, terrified by the noise he had made, but the floor above him was silent, and there was no creak on the stairs. His outlook changes dramatically when he is at the theatre and it is as if he is able to live in a world that is free from restriction while he is at the theatre.

He could not remember a time when he had felt so at peace with himself. For example, he enjoys a symphony concert not so much for the music, but for the atmosphere: The upshot of the matter was, that the principal went to Paul's father, and Paul was taken out of school and put to work.

His eyes were remarkable for a certain hysterical brilliancy, and he continually used them in a conscious, theatrical sort of way, peculiarly offensive in a boy.

Paul made the ultimate decision of taking his own life because the thought of returning to his old one was too much for him to handle, and he felt the need to escape into a whole different world where it was much more enjoyable to be.

His chief greediness lay in his ears and eyes, and his excesses were not offensive ones.

Paul's Case Summary

Paul never went up Cordelia Street without a shudder of loathing. A long, black stream of carriages poured down the avenue, intersected here and there by other streams, tending horizontally.

The boy who hated school whistles a stirring chorus from the opera Faust, which perhaps is an allusion that has significance here since the opera is about characters who are outcasts.

There is no reason he had to throw himself in front of the train. In some sense, he feels that he deserves money without working for it.

Paul had just come in to dress for dinner; he sank into a chair, weak to the knees, and clasped his head in his hands. The insult was so involuntary and definitely personal as to be unforgettable.

He had not a hundred dollars left; and he knew now, more than ever, that money was everything, the wall that stood between all he loathed and all he wanted.

He turned and walked reluctantly toward the car tracks. The thing was winding itself up; he had thought of that on his first glorious day in New York, and had even provided a way to snap the thread.

Paul took one of the blossoms carefully from his coat and scooped a little hole in the snow, where he covered it up. Paul is getting the once-over by a panel of angry teachers. They're trying to decide whether to let him back in school, and their mood is not improved by the saucy red carnation he's tucked into his buttonhole.

Paul stopped short before the door. He felt that he could not be accosted by his father to-night, that he could not toss again on that miserable bed. He would not go in. Paul’s Case Willa Cather.

A Study in Temperament. It was Paul's afternoon to appear before the faculty of the Pittsburgh High School to account for his various misdemeanors. “Paul’s Case,” the only short story Willa Cather approved for anthologies, opens with a young boy called before his high school principal and teachers.

What is the theme for the short story twins?

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The theme of a story is the idea or concept that the story examines. One theme in Paul's Case is alienation, the fact that Paul has dreams different from those around him, or from what his father.

Paul's Case Themes Theme of seclusion in willa cathers short story pauls case
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Ashes From Burnt Roses: Short Story Analysis: “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather