Short Story Analysis
"Paul's Case" by Willa Cather
“Paul’s Case” is a story about a troubled boy who feels misplaced in the world. Everything around him is dull, from the paintings of John Calvin and George Washington in his room to the everyday grind of life. After embarrassing his teachers to the point of his expulsion, Paul takes the chance he's given to run away from home and live the life he always wanted-- a life surrounded by colorful, interesting people and the excitement of uncommon and beautiful things like the first note from an instrument or soloist. However, his new life ends sooner than expected when he hears of his father heading to New York to retrieve him. Rather than face his father and return to his miserable life, Paul chooses the only way to prevent his homecoming. He jumps in front of a moving train.
Analysis of Theme
Cather, Willa. "Paul's Case." Youth and the Bright Medusa. Willa Cather. Vintage, 1975. 181.
LitFinder. Web. 3 May 2016.
O’Brien, Sharon. "Cather, Willa 1873—1947." American Writers: A Collection of Literary
Biographies, Retrospective Supplement 1. Ed. A. Walton Litz and Molly Weigel. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998. 1-23. Scribner Writers on GVRL. Web. 5 May 2016.
“Paul’s Case.” Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1997.
"Willa Cather." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Literature Resource Center. Web. 3 May 2016.