"Paul's Case" Literary Analysis

Amy Hulse

Point of View

The author uses point of view in the third person to show how detached Paul is from the world.  Cather also uses this point of view to be able to comment on the actions of Paul without bias and maintaining his personality throughout the whole story. It sounds almost as if Paul is speaking but he's just referring to himself as Paul instead of me. The image chosens conveys point of view by showing how everything in Paul's life sort of whirls around him and is abstract. The reader never really knows what is real and what is just Paul's fantasy.
CITATION: Hans. Snowfall Snow Snowflakes Blizzard Winter Flake. Digital image. Pixabay. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Feb. 2013.


Paul is someone who doesn't let anyone close mainly because they are not good enough for him. The author reveals Paul's character constantly throughout the story through multiple details and reactions of Paul about the world. The lonely engine shows how isolated Paul made himself and how it wound up affecting him at the end. He trusted in himself to create a short fix for his unhappiness, but he did it at the expense of others, which backfired and showed him that he went about his plan the wrong way.
CITATION: Adams, Wilson. A Lonely Engine. Digital image. Geograph. N.p., 9 Dec. 2005. Web. 8 Feb. 2013.


Throughout Paul's journey, it is snowing. The snow reflects the cold decisions of Paul and how he executed his plan to live on his own in New York. The weather also keeps getting more severe, mirroring the severity of Paul's actions, leading up the end scene where the short story ends abruptly. The picture is what the setting actually is. This is what Paul sees when he's walking down the road.
CITATION: Unknown. Snow. Digital image. WikimediaCommons. N.p., 25 Mar. 2005. Web. 8 Feb. 2013.


The carnation that Paul takes out of this coat and burries in the snow symbolizes him giving up on his dreams and realizing that he cannot mentally and physically go back to his home and start over. The picture chosen is what Paul probably saw right before he burried the carnation.
CITATION: Public Domain Pictures. Flower Carnation Wild Pink Crimson Plant Garden. Digital image. Pixabay. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Feb. 2013.


When paul only had 100 dollars left, he realized that he cannot steal money and expect it to last. He should have seaved it up himself and followed his dreams using his own means instead of hurting others. Following your dreams only works when you do everything yourself is conveyed through the image of a sad flower in the rain. It shows him coming to an ending point and giving up on his dreams.
CITATION: Werner22brigitte. Wet Flower. Digital image. Pixabay. N.p., 02 Dec. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2013.