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Response to Literature, "paul's Case": Examine the Possible Reasons Why Paul's Life Ended So Tragically

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In the short story entitled Paul's Case by Willa Cather the main character, Paul, had a fight with his identity before he met his unfortunate fate. The struggles were caused by the key differences between his imagined life and what his real life actually was. Problems in his school, home, community, and his own self cautiousness prompted him to run away to New York. He went there to live the life he always wanted to live.

"Paul was tall for his age and very thin, with high, cramped shoulders and a narrow chest." His chest was one part of his body that he was rather sensitive about. The way he acted reflected his sensitivity about his narrow chest. Paul was a reserved person and had many habits that other people perceived as "smartness" or disrespect. His habits included twitching, violent hand movements, raised eyebrows in an irritating fashion, and constant mockery of school life; thus, he was hated by many members of his school.

In a meeting about his behavior, his teachers were vindictive and held nothing back against him. His English teacher was the first to start their wrath against Paul. It was like he was in a court case with his teachers. In the court room, his teachers were the prosecutors while Paul was the defendant without a lawyer. Although they couldn't put it into words what his offenses were, the two main ones were disorder and impertinence. At the end of the meeting, Paul's sympathetic principal caused the teachers to be dissatisfied by the final decision.

In his entire school he had not one single friend to call his own. The teachers tired to help him, but deemed him as a lost cause and the students wanted nothing to do with him. He was like a lost soul in his school, but he did not seem to mind that he was since he hated them all as well.

Paul's home was described as, "his ugly sleeping chamber; the cold bathroom with the grimy zinc tub; the cracked mirror; the dripping spiggots." He was displeased with the appearance of it because it didn't fit his vision of beauty. His home life reflected the way his family was, ugly. His mother died when he was young, she left behind a husband, son, and two daughters. The relationship between Paul and his father was not the most ideal of relationships.

In the short story, Paul did not have any connection to his father other than the fact that they were father and son. Apart from that they didn't have a real relationship. One day, "He went around to the back of the house and tried one of the basement windows." He did so to avoid any contact with his father. If they had a good relationship then he would not have to resort to such extremes to avoid him nor lie to him about his whereabouts.

The home he lived in was next to the Cumberland minister, close to Cordelia Street. The street was what Paul described as perfection, it was where he wanted to live. It was described that the street caused flood waters to close upon Paul every time he went by it. In the text it specifically stated what Cordelia Street meant to him: "the loathing of respectable beds, common foods, of a house penetrated by kitchen odors; a shuddering repulsion for the flavorless, colorless mass of everyday existence; a morbid desire for cool things and of lights and fresh flowers."

Paul appreciated

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