Paul's Case Literary Analysis

Marissa Cobbs

Point of View

Since the author allows the reader to know the thoughts and feelings of Paul and the other characters in the story, she elucidates the theme of the story through point of view because we know how the teachers and other characters truly feel about Paul. We also see how Paul reacts to the feelings that others have towards him and how those feelings further make him feel more and more isolated from the society he lives in. The image of the eyes conveys point of view because the reader knows the thoughts and feelings of all the characters, not just one character in particular. The reader has "all seeing eyes."

Characterization

The picture elucidates the theme because Paul is isolated from everyone around him because he wants a high-quality life, he doesn't want or try to fit in with those around him. He feels like his school and home aren't the high quality of life he desires. The kids at school think Paul is strange. His teachers know that Paul resents them, but they don't know why. They are frustrated with Paul because he doesn't seem to care whether or not he gets suspended from school and he didn't care very much when he was in school. Paul dreads going home at night. He thinks his house is low-standard and is ashamed of living there. His bed is uncomfortable and his room has ugly knick-knacks. He feels as though his middle-class neighborhood is too ordinary and common. The only place Paul seems to come to life is at Carnegie Hall. Even though the other ushers don't seem to favor Paul, he does his job well and enjoys the time he gets to spend there. He gets lost in the music and craves the elegant lifestyle of the people and musicians at the Hall. I chose this picture because I felt like it portrayed Paul's true character and how he felt in his middle-class society: alone.

Setting

The setting I chose is New York. Paul decides to go to New York because he desires the higher quality of living and thinks he can find it here. New York elucidates the theme because this is where Paul discovers the lack of purpose in his life and gets to experience all the finer things, which eventually leads to his demise. He steals money from his job, stays in a fancy hotel, takes carriage rides, and eats the finest foods. Then Paul finds out that his theft has been discovered, his father has paid the money back, and that his father is on his way to New York to find Paul and bring him home. Paul then decides to commit suicide, and right before he jumps out in front of the train, he remembers all the things he'll never get to experience and the places he'll never get to see. I chose the image of the New York skyline because I think this is where we discover Paul's true character and the darkness of his personality.

Symbolism

The carnation elucidates the theme because as Paul discovers his true character and what his life is lacking, the carnation becomes less and less vibrant. At the end of the story, Paul buries the carnation right before he commits suicide. The carnation is a symbol of Paul himself. The carnation dies as Paul discovers his true self and why he truly feels isolated from society because of the differences he sees in himself and those around him. The image of the carnation conveys this device because it is a representation of what Paul wore on his jacket.

Theme

The theme of Paul's Case is elucidated by this picture because Paul's life took a very destructive path. He was never satisfied and always wanted more. He craved a high quality of life and told extravagant lies to the people around him to make them think is life was as amazing and grand as he wished it was. In the end, Paul's decisions and actions led to his demise. The image of the path conveys this device because it is symbolizes the path of Paul's life.
Nemo. Black and White Eyes. Digital image. Pixabay. N.p., 11 Apr. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2013. Trodel, Jim. New York Skyline. Digital image. Fotopedia. N.p., 22 Sept. 2009. Web. 8 Feb. 2013. PublicDomainPicutres. Carnation. Digital image. Pixabay. N.p., 02 Mar. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2013. LoboStudioHamburg. Lonely Walk. Digital image. Pixabay. N.p., 20 Nov. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2013.

Amoretdoesntdrawwell. Dirt Path. Digital image. DeviantART. N.p., 19 Apr. 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.