Essay Sample on Critical Analysis of the Reading "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather

Published: 2023-09-19
Essay Sample on Critical Analysis of the Reading "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather
Essay type:  Book review
Categories:  Child development Relationship Books Writers
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 876 words
8 min read

"Paul's Case" by Willa Cather depicts different aspects, including the misunderstanding and problems resulting from the parents' negligence and their unwillingness to view things from their child's perspective. It is evident from the short story that Cather dislikes the sentimentality of the female writers. She never allows herself to be carried away by her emotions. The short story presents a young man called Paul, who seems not to be satisfied with life with his family and school. Although the short story presents the tragic life of a young adult, the author remains unfussy.

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Based on how the author narrates the short story, if Paul were living in the present time, he would probably have been diagnosed with either depression or bipolar disorder. It was unfortunate for him that all such did not take place within the short story. It is evident from the short story that Paul did not have the capability of standing the dullness of everyday existence. Various occasions that took place during his life seemed to suppress him (Cather 16). Some of such instances from the short story include the grey outfits of his teachers and when his father always praised their neighbor for marrying a woman only because of her money. In most cases, Paul developed some bizarre stories and various alienations whose key purpose was only to entertain himself. That made him earn a reputation as an eccentric from the rest of his classmates. Unfortunately, he never managed to earn any friends among his classmates. He was as well nothing else but simply his teacher's pet. The majority of his classmates grew hatred towards him as much as he continued to despise them. He was always happy whenever he was at Carnegie Hall.

The literary analysis of Paul's incidence as the main character in the short story is his teenage. His main problem is that he never obeys the rules and regulations that have already been implemented in various aspects, especially in school. He has different authoritative aspects. Some of such aspects include his teacher and father. From Paul's perspective, his key problem seems to be the general society. Society seems to see him, and it continuously forces him to obey its rules. It is evident from the short story that Paul was generally tired of the middle-class people in the society in Pittsburgh. It is as well evident that he was also bored with the frustration that he always encountered from society. Paul eventually notices that his life is not completely “alive”. He was never satisfied with his residence because his teacher always hated him. At the same time, his father was not a "model" father (Reynolds 19). Therefore, Paul always had a feeling that such things were unfair to his life. After noticing such unfair things in his life, he then decided to remove them. Some may argue that money has the capability of changing an individual, but that is not the case. Money changes people around, while others may argue that money has the capability of changing person after person. Paul's love for money was at a higher level hence consuming him and his general way of life. That is mainly because of because Paul was a teenager and his life in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. Paul's drama and love art caused him to steal money and eventually move to New York.

There are various things presented in the short story that always made Paul feel more elated. Some of such key things include vividness, divine music, and the beauty of every single detail. Everyday splendor activities always guided him in putting up with all other life aspects. His father always believed that the decisions he always made were the only way out of any trouble that faced the family. That greatly forced him to decide that Carnegie Hall was never the best place for his son to stay (Czernicki 245). He always insisted that his son be more focused on his education and future than on the Carnegie Hall. Paul always valued money, thinking that it was the only instrument that he could ever use to gain everything he ever wanted. That made him waste the money he always got easily. Like any other young man, Paul always thought of having everything that would enable him to color the world in black and white. If only Paul had the opportunity of confiding in, then his life would have been unfolded according to a completely different situation.

In conclusion, Cather introduced the readers of the short story to a young man named Paul to do presents various aspects. Some may claim that some of the aspects that are intended t be presented in the short story include selfishness and delusion, while others may claim narcissism. However, Paul was always fascinated by all the art that always surrounded him and encapsulated. He eventually manages to escape the reality that he always believed in that there was no form of hope with him staying at home.

Works Cited

Cather, Willa. Paul's Case: A Study in TemperamentSS McClure, 1905.

Czernicki, Martha. "Fantasy and Reality in Willa Cather's Paul's Case." The Explicator 75.4 (2017): 242-247.

Reynolds, Guy J. Cather Studies, Volume 12: Willa Cather and the Arts. University of Nebraska Press, 2020.

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Essay Sample on Critical Analysis of the Reading "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather. (2023, Sep 19). Retrieved from

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