Paul's Case Essay

1087 Words Apr 3rd, 2002 5 Pages
Willa Cather's "Paul's Case" is a story about a young 16 year-old man, Paul, who is motherless and alienated. Paul's lack of maternal care has led to his alienation. He searches for the aesthetics in life that that he doesn't get from his yellow wallpaper in his house and his detached, overpowering father figure in his life. Paul doesn't have any interests in school and his only happiness is in working at Carnegie Hall and dreams of one-day living the luxurious life in New York City. Paul surrounds himself with the aesthetics of music and the rich and wealthy, as a means to escape his true reality. In Paul's true reality he has a lack of interest in school. His disinterest in school stems from the alienation and isolation he has in …show more content…
He felt

Jones 2 that he could not be accosted by his father tonight; that he could not toss again on that miserable bed" (Cather 5). Paul is longing for the beauty and aesthetics pleasures in life.
He does not get any of that in his house with the yellow wallpaper and pictures of his father's forced icons of Washington and Calvin over his bed.
The only place Paul is able to escape his reality and unfulfilling life is at Carnegie Hall. Carnegie Hall is a haven for Paul and gives him the classy atmosphere of the arts that he lacks in his life. He has an usher job at Carnegie Hall and unlike his house and school, Paul enjoys going there to work. He is able to escape and be with the rich and attractive people that come to the hall.
It was at the theatre and at Carnegie Hall that Paul really lived; the rest was but a sleep and forgetting. The moment he inhaled the gassy, painty, dusty odour behind the scenes, he breathed like a prisoner set free, and felt within him the possibility of doing or saying splendid, brilliant, poetic things. The moment the cracked orchestra beat out the overture from Martha, or jerked at the serenade from Rigoletto, all the stupid and ugly things slid from him, and his senses were deliciously, yet delicately fired. (Cather 6)
Paul enjoys the aesthetics of Carnegie Hall with all the people and atmosphere. While listening to the music he is able to leave his life behind and go off into another life and place

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