But it becomes clear that Paul will never become one of the prosperous men he idealizes because he has no understanding of the relationship between work and money.
Instead, Paul escapes his monotonous life by visiting Charley Edwards, a young actor. But the little, clay-bespattered Italians were still sleeping, the slatternly women across the aisle were in open-mouthed oblivion, and even the crumby, crying babies were for the nonce stilled.
He bounded up with a start; half of one of his precious days gone already! There was this to be said for him, that he wore his spoils with dignity and in no way made himself conspicuous. Anything that requires sustained concentration or intellectual appreciation, such as novels, is too time-consuming.
Boys in livery were running in and out of the awning that was stretched across the sidewalk, up and down the red velvet carpet laid from the door to the street. Paul bounded up-stairs, scrubbed the greasy odor of the dish-water from his hands with the ill-smelling soap he hated, and then shook over his fingers a few drops of violet water from the bottle he kept hidden in his drawer.
Take it from Eve, who as a young girl ventured into her attic alone in search of costumes. When Paul meets the rich student from Yale, he makes a brief connection, and the two share a wild night out on the town.
Finally, just before Paul has exhausted his finances, he reads in the Pittsburgh papers that his father, having paid back the stolen money, is coming to New York to search for his son. A long, black stream of carriages poured down the avenue, intersected here and there by other streams, tending horizontally.
Paul does not wish to live a life that would be considered ordinary by others. There is also a sense that Paul feels as though he has learnt all he needs to know from his teachers and that they can teach him no more. He would not go in. The moment he turned into Cordelia Street he felt the waters close above his head.
Then, next Monday, he would slip back, conscious, and nervously smiling; his sister was ill, and he should have to defer his voyage until spring. Lulled by the sound of the wind, the warm air, and the cool fragrance of the flowers, he sank into deep, drowsy retrospection.
He was horribly afraid of rats, so he did not try to sleep, but sat looking distrustfully at the dark, still terrified least he might have awakened his father.
He went around to the back of the house and tried one of the basement windows, found it open, raised it cautiously, and scrambled down the cellar wall to the floor. His lips were continually twitching, and he had a habit of raising his eyebrows that was contemptuous and irritating to the last degree.
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. He would show himself that he was game, he would finish the thing splendidly.
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. It is as though he is able to use the theatre as a means to escape from what can only be described as a dull existence for Paul school.
The central theme is that true love involves self-sacrifice. 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. His new street suit he put on in the fitting-room; the frock-coat and dress-clothes he had bundled into the cab with his linen.
She happened to be an angular schoolmistress, much older than he, who also wore thick glasses, and who had now borne him four children, all near-sighted, like herself.“Paul’s Case,” the only short story Willa Cather approved for anthologies, opens with a young boy called before his high school principal and teachers.
They are unable to discern exactly. "Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament" is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in McClure's Magazine in under the title "Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament" and was later shortened.
It also appeared in a collection of Cather's stories, The Troll Garden (). Paul is getting the once-over by a panel of angry teachers. They're trying to decide whether to let him back in school, and their mood is not improved by the saucy red carnation he's tucked into his buttonhole.
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.
The theme of a story is the idea or concept that the story examines. One theme in Paul's Case is alienation, the fact that Paul has dreams different from those around him, or from what his father.
At the same time, Paul doesn't seem to be a very good liar. Ever Wealth In the steel-obsessed Pittsburgh of "Paul's Case," money makes the world go 'round, and not just Paul's world.Download