Paul's Case

Literary Analysis

Point of View

The point of view is third person omniscient. The author uses this to express Paul's thoughts, which is what the theme is based on. Because the point of view is third person omniscient, the narrator is essentially God, hence the picture of the clouds.

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Characterization

The author uses Paul's disgust with the natural world and desire to escape into fantasy to express the theme. Similarly, a peacock brandishes its feathers to make itself more appealing than it usually is.
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Setting

In the story, Paul is employed as an usher at Carnegie Hall, which he indulges in art and theater. These interests tie into the theme. The picture below shows an aerial view of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is where Carnegie Hall is located.
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Symbolism

Throughout the story, Paul wears a red carnation. This carnation represents Paul himself. It is seen in the beginning of the story in the school, where it reinforces his insolence. He later buys more red carnations and they wilt in the cold, conveying the loss of his will to live. He buries one in the snow, an act that both represents and precedes his own death. The image below is of a red carnation.
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Theme

The theme of this story is alienation. Labeling himself as an aesthete and an individualist, Paul detaches himself from others, exhibiting contempt for them. He labels his teachers, neighbors, and his own father as provincial, unsophisticated, ordinary, and mediocre. As a result, he withdraws from his bland life in Pittsburgh to live out his fantasies in New York. The image below is a lighthearted interpretation of how Paul views himself in comparison to his conformist peers in Pittsburgh.
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Works Cited

Nemo. Alien. Digital image. Pixabay. N.p., 12 Apr. 2012. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.


PublicDomainPictures. Carnation. Digital image. Pixabay. N.p., 02 Mar. 2012. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.


PublicDomainPictures. Cloud. Digital image. N.p., 16 Feb. 2012. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.


PublicDomainPictures. Peacock. Digital image. Fotopedia. N.p., 13 Dec. 2010. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.


Sabakka, Sakeeb. Pittsburgh. Digital image. N.p., 16 Nov. 2009. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.