Paul's Case Literary Analysis

Audrey Crooks

Point of View

Because the story is written from an omniscient third person point of view, the author allows the readers to discover just how far Paul's fantasy world has removed him from reality. The binoculars represent how the story is told as an outsider looking from afar.
Piggy, Miss. Black and White Binoculars. Digital image. Pixabay.com. Pixabay, 08 Dec. 2011. Web. 8 Feb. 2013.

Characterization

Paul is indirectly characterized through the descriptions of his actions. The reader comes to realize that he has big dreams and is constantly spending more time dreaming of a better life than living in the real world. The picture of the daydreamer represents Paul's big dreams and how they consume his thoughts.
Public Domain Pictures. Daydreamer. Digital image. Pixabay.com. Pixabay, 29 Feb. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2013

Setting

The descriptions of Paul's actions and emotions reveal that he would rather be anywhere besides Cordelia Street. This embodies Paul's own self-alienation as he tries to get away from the place where he feels he is, like the picture, underwater.
Public Domain Pictures. Underwater. Digital image. Pixabay.com. Pixabay, 23 Feb. 2012. Web.   8 Feb. 2013.

Symbolism

Hanging above Paul's bed, the portraits of George Washington and John Calvin represent the shining world Paul has created within the dingy walls of his daily life. He sees them not only as emblems of revolution, but also as justification for his own delusions.
Werner22brigitte. George Washington. Digital image. Pixabay.com. Pixabay, 3 Aug. 2012. Web.             8 Feb. 2013.

Theme

The theme of "Paul's Case" is that when one becomes too wrapped up in fantasy, the scope of reality can be eclipsed by the notion of a more exciting existence. As Paul realizes that in comparison to his fantasy world, the real world is a barren wasteland, he knows that continuing to live is not an option.
Hans. Snow. Digital image. Pixabay.com. Pixabay, 2 Mar. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2013.