Brief Summary Of Paul's Case By Willa Cather

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In Willa Cather’s “Paul’s Case” a theatrical young student spends a lovely week in New York City using stolen money, after more than a week he finds that his crime has been discovered, enjoys his last dinner at the Waldorf hotel and kills himself the next morning. Paul believes that only money and glamour can give his life worth, this causes him to steal banknotes to pay for his luxurious trip to New York City. Paul and his father have very different expectations about what Paul’s life should be like. Paul’s interests lie in the arts whereas his father is a businessman. Paul completely clashes with his environment. He finds his home repulsive and hates his school just the same; they represent the mundane and ordinary lives that Paul distains. Cather implies that misunderstanding money can prove fatal. The author also implies that art can…show more content…
While it is still snowing, Paul sees “the long dead grass and dried weed stalks protruded black above [the snow].” The dead plants symbolize Paul’s impending death; Paul and the weeds are one in the same. When Paul goes to Tiffany’s to select his silver he does not wait for it to be marked, this symbolizes his near fate, for he will not need marked silver when he is dead. Later, when Paul goes on a carriage ride up Fifth Avenue, he sees whole flower gardens under glass cases on every corner, with beautiful violets, carnations, roses and lilies. Paul sees them as even more beautiful because they are unnaturally blossoming in the snow. This symbolizes Paul’s delusion of how the world sees him, he is the flowers, unnaturally blossoming in the snow, making him even more of a spectacle. That evening, when Paul is going to bed, he leaves the lights on in his room, for fear that he might think he is home if he wakes up to darkness; this action symbolizes Paul’s fear of his past

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