Analysis Of Pauls Actions In The Story Paul's Case

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Analysis of Paul 's Actions in the Story Paul 's Case

The case of Paul presents many complex angles that may have affected Paul in ways that are difficult to determine, such as his upbringing, family life (or lack of), time period, sexuality, and others. Paul developed an unhealthy relationship with art, to the point of obsession. An unrelated, but no less destructive view of money fused with his art addiction to eventually lead to Paul 's downfall. These two independent problems are not unusual (especially concerning money), but they may have been fused together by Paul 's struggle with his sexually in a non-accepting time period.

Paul has a relationship with art strikingly similar to the relationship a drug addict has with his
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Paul seems to believe that him being born into his middle class life was a terrible mistake made on the part of some higher power, and therefore he deserves to move to the life he wants by default. He despises nearly everything about his current life from the knick-knacks in his room to his father. Paul views money as something not earned, rather given based on one 's class in society. In Paul 's mind, the rich are rich because they were born smarter than everyone else, and the poor are poor because they somehow don 't know how to be rich. Paul fails to realize that in his society, the only way people can hope to change class is by climbing the “corporate ladder” one rung at a time. This is pointed out to him, but “he was interested in the triumphs of these cash boys [minimum wage workers] who had become famous, though he had no mind for the cash-boy stage” (Cather 7). This view is not uncommon for adolescents, then or now, however, this immature view of money fused with his aforementioned art addiction to result in Paul stealing $1000 (equivalent to $27,230 today), something that is somewhat uncommon for …show more content…
Paul, while he may not acknowledge it or even fully understand it, is likely homosexual. Paul rejects his fathers life goals for him, which can be inferred from a conversation Paul 's father has with a young store clerk “at twenty-one had married the first woman whom he could persuade to share his fortunes … who had now borne him four children”. Instead, Paul prefers to spend his Sunday nights “loitering about Charley Edwards’s dressing room”. While in New York, Paul meets a freshman at Yale, but the friendship ends badly. The sentence “They had started out in the confiding warmth of a champagne friendship, but their parting in the elevator was singularly cool” (Cather 14) may indicate that Paul attempted some sort of advance, but was rejected. Given the time period, which placed Paul in an society built around a religion that viewed homosexually as sin, he was likely conflicted, confused, or both. This conflict may have manifested itself in Paul 's desire to be accepted by his classmates, as shown by the extreme lengths he went to in order to impress them: “ He had autographed pictures of all the members of the stock company which he showed his classmates, telling them the most incredible stories of his familiarity with these people, of his acquaintance with the soloists who came to Carnegie Hall, his suppers with them

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