Point of View
Through this perspective, we watch through the eyes of the crucial characters in this story, allowing us to learn who Paul exactly is. We learn just how alone, obsessed, and unrealistic he is by his own nature as the story progresses, and glean from his surroundings the information needed to supplement our understanding of this. The narrator occasionally glances into the minds of other characters in the story in order to show us how they view Paul, such as how Paul's teachers held a theory that his "imagination had been perverted by garish fiction," then telling us of how Paul barely ever read at all, since he would much rather listen to music than read. This is just one example of the point of view that gives us a greater understanding into Paul's character, and how his perceptions, such as of art, tie into the major themes of the story.
The picture to the right represents "following," which is usually what a third-person narrator does.
Paul believes that he is superior to those around him, viewing everyone else with contempt for their apparent narrow-mindedness. This belief of him being above everyone else gives him the feeling that he is destined to obtain great wealth and fame. He believes that he should be a great and wealthy man, dreaming of all the exploits a rich man makes in his career, but never realizes the hard work it takes to get there. He believes that he deserves great fame in fortune without ever putting in the effort to obtain it.
Paul is incredibly selfish, which is yet another flaw in his character brought on his beliefs of self-superiority and that the world is wrongly unkind to him. This is yet another example of a fatal flaw in his character that leads to his ultimate demise by his own hands.
Paul's eventual suicide is the culmination of all the sufferings and unhappiness he feels throughout his life. We are told of a darkness that exists within Paul, and of the many disturbing habits of his that support this claim, such as when Paul would fantasize of him being shot by his father for being mistaken as a burglar, and even more disturbingly that his father would not regret it. This darkness and all his character flaws lead to his decision of ending his own life by jumping in front of a passing train, bringing him to the oblivion he had for so long desired.
The picture to the right shows a lust for money, representing Paul's greed and his misconception that money is the solution to every problem in life, and the thing he so rightly deserves to earn without ever working for it.
Paul frequently dreamed of going to New York, a place where, in his mind, art is everywhere, and he would be able to indulge in his addiction for art, allowing him to become truly happy as he spends great fortunes of the money he so rightfully deserves on a lavish lifestyle suited for the king he believes that he is destined to become. When he finally journeys to New York, he instead becomes broke and is forced to return without the experience that he believed the city would offer him. Even though his experience in New York was nothing like he dreamed it would be, Paul still learns nothing of his flaws. On the morning of his suicide, he tells himself that "money was everything," meaning that he still believes that being wealthy would solve all of his problems, and realizing nothing of the true nature of what it takes and means to be wealthy.
The picture to the right is of New York, the place he viewed as the fantasy-land of his dreams.
Mikul, Bobby. "New York City Skyline Night Lights River." New, York, City, Skyline, Night, Lights. n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
OCAL. "Man Being Followed." Man, Guy, Person, Follow, Walk. Http://www.clker.com/, 8 Apr. 2012. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.
Stitt, Jason. "Head In Money Stock Photo 8584960 : Shutterstock." Stock Photos, Royalty-Free Images and Vectors - Shutterstock. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2013.
"Red Carnations Flowers Fragrant Perennial." Red Carnations, Flowers, Fragrant. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2013.