Paul views the small economies of his neighbors disdainfully, believing that only he understands the best way of building wealth. He had not a hundred dollars left; and he knew now, more than ever, that money was everything, the wall that stood between all he loathed and all he wanted.
His dearest pleasures were the gray winter twilights in his sitting-room; his quiet enjoyment of his flowers, his clothes, his wide divan, his cigarette, and his sense of power. When he arrived at the Jersey City station, Paul hurried through his breakfast, manifestly ill at ease and keeping a sharp eye about him.
He tussles with the other young ushers at the theater and latches on to Charley Edwards, who allows Paul to help him dress for performances. On the eighth day after his arrival in New York, he found the whole affair exploited in the Pittsburg papers, exploited with a wealth of detail which indicated that local news of a sensational nature was at a low ebb.
When he went to sleep, it was with the lights turned on in his bedroom; partly because of his old timidity and partly so that, if he should wake in the night, there would be no wretched moment of doubt, no horrible suspicion of yellow wall-paper, or of Washington and Calvin above his bed.
Paul took one of the blossoms carefully from his coat and scooped a little hole in the snow, where he covered it up. On seasonable Sunday afternoons the burghers of Cordelia Street always sat out on their front "stoops," and talked to their neighbors on the next stoop, or called to those across the street in neighborly fashion.
He told his story plausibly and had no trouble, since he volunteered to pay for them in advance, in engaging his rooms, a sleeping-room, sitting-room and bath.
He would tell his father that he had no car fare, and it was raining so hard he had gone home with one of the boys and stayed all night. He wants to be noticed, to be important, and he seems to be devoid of the psychological equipment that enables others to accept the limitations and realities of their circumstances.
The Park itself was a wonderful stage winter-piece. After each of these orgies of living, he experienced all the physical depression which follows a debauch; the loathing of respectable beds, of common food, of a house penetrated by kitchen odors; a shuddering repulsion for the flavorless, colorless mass of every-day existence; a morbid desire for cool things and soft lights and fresh flowers.
How astonishingly easy it had all been; here he was, the thing done, and this time there would be no awakening, no figure at the top of the stairs. He might have caught an outbound steamer and been well out of their clutches before now.
When the weather was warm, and his father was in a particularly jovial frame of mind, the girls made lemonade, which was always brought out in a red glass pitcher, ornamented with forget-me-nots in blue enamel. Paul started up from the seat where he had lain curled in uneasy slumber, rubbed the breath-misted window-glass with his hand, and peered out.
When Paul meets the rich student from Yale, he makes a brief connection, and the two share a wild night out on the town. The snow was whirling so fiercely outside his windows that he could scarcely see across the street but within the air was deliciously soft and fragrant.
His head whirled as he stepped into the thronged corridor, and he sank back into one of the chairs against the wall to get his breath. When the right moment came, he jumped. His clothes were a trifle outgrown, and the tan velvet on the collar of his open overcoat was frayed and worn; but, for all that, there was something of the dandy about him, and he wore an opal pin in his neatly knotted black four-in-hand, and a red carnation in his buttonhole.
Matters went steadily worse with Paul at school. The prospect of heterosexual relations seems to repulse Paul. With something of the old childish belief in miracles with which he had so often gone to class, all his lessons unlearned, Paul dressed and dashed whistling down the corridor to the elevator.
As he fell, the folly of his haste occurred to him with merciless clearness, the vastness of what he had left undone. He was always considerably excited while he dressed, twanging all over to the tuning of the strings and the preliminary flourishes of the horns in the music-room; but to-night he seemed quite beside himself, and he teased and plagued the boys until, telling him that he was crazy, they put him down on the floor and sat on him.
He was thoroughly tired; he had been in such haste, had stood up to such a strain, covered so much ground in the last twenty-four hours, that he wanted to think how it had all come about. Much as addicts use their drug of choice to escape their everyday lives, Paul uses art to escape his own consciousness.
Paul settled back to struggle with his impatience as best he could. The lights, the chatter, the perfumes, the bewildering medley of color—he had for a moment the feeling of not being able to stand it. On the part of the hotel management, Paul excited no suspicion.
The snow was falling faster, lights streamed from the hotels that reared their dozen stories fearlessly up into the storm, defying the raging Atlantic winds.
The moment he inhaled the gassy, painty, dusty odor behind the scenes, he breathed like a prisoner set free, and felt within him the possibility of doing or saying splendid, brilliant, poetic things. Nobody questioned the purple; he had only to wear it passively.- Paul's Character in Paul's Case Pauls's Case is the story of a young man who struggles with his identity.
Paul feels that he knows where he belongs, but his family and teachers refuse to support his choices. In the middle of Paul's Case, there is a switch in narration. Thesis Statement: He wrote his most important work in 57 A.D., his.
PAUL'S CASE A STUDY IN TEMPERAMENT BY They agreed with the faculty and with his father that Paul's was a bad case. II. The east-bound train was plowing through a January snow-storm; the dull dawn was beginning to show gray, when the engine whistled a mile out of Newark.
Paul started up from the seat where he had lain curled in uneasy. The American Dream is the underlying theme in "Paul's Case." Paul's father is a perfect example of this theme.
"Paul's father and the rest of Cordelia Street, a "perfectly respectable" middle. “Paul’s Case,” the only short story Willa Cather approved for anthologies, opens with a young boy called before his high school principal. From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Paul’s Case: A Study in Temperament Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
A summary of Themes in Willa Cather's Paul’s Case: A Study in Temperament. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Paul’s Case: A Study in Temperament and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.Download