Analysis for Paul's Case

By: Jody Cowan

Point of View

Through the omniscent point of view, the author was able to portray how the characters around Paul view him as a person. The reader is able to view why his teacher's aren't very fond of him, and what his classmates think about him and his lies. Along with this Paul's actions and thoughts are also conveyed which makes it easier to get to know Paul more in depth as a character and see what his life-ruining problems are. It portrays that no matter what Paul does, and no matter what he feels, he still is unable to truely escape his ordinary life. This window represents how the reader is able to see inside the home, which would be inside Paul's mind and see his actions; while also viewing outside the home; which would entail the feelings of all of the characters that are mentioned in this story and how they viewed Paul as a person.


Paul is a very deffiant character, he doesn't listen to anyone around him because he feels that he is better than everyone around him. He thinks that because he understand the greater picture in life that he knows more than everyone else. He has created a different fantasy, which has made it impossible for Paul to distingusih what is reality from what is made up. Paul is also very obsessed with money and thinks that money can solve all of his problems in life, which in a sense is why everything leads to dissapointment in his life. The picture of the group with a woman as an outsider (imagine it a man- Paul), shows that Paul has removed himself from his group of friends and all the other characters in this story because he feels that he is better than everyone else.


The setting in Paul's Case reveals aspects of Paul's character. At the beginning of the story, Paul is verbally attacked by his teachers in a school building. Paul describes the school to have "bare floors and naked walls" and his bedroom to be "[an] ugly sleeping chamber; the cold bath-room with the grimy zinc tub, the cracked mirror." These two settings that Paul portrays to be hideous, reflects the ugliness that Paul feels towards his life. Classmates and Teachers at Paul's school view him as being inappropriate and unacceptable, they have no understanding of Paul's real behavior and don't really care to learn. The fact that people around Paul perceive him with these unwanted qualities, it encourages Paul to fulfill his dream of escaping his monotonous life. Paul feels like he is drowning in his school environment and the only way to stay afloat is to escape to his fantasy life.


The red carnation that Paul sometimes wears in his buttonhole represents Paul himself. At the beginning of the story, Paul wears a red carnation to meet his teachers, they correctly see that this carnation is a way that Paul conveys his undeniable defiance. By him wearing the red carnation, it makes it easy for people around Paul to see that he doesn't feel remorse like he should. This flower also acts as a symbol of how Paul thinks that he is better than everyone, his teachers and his peers. At the end of the story, Paul buys red carnations and once he notices that the cold have made them wilt, he burries them in the white innocent snow right before jumping in front of the train, which symbolically preludes to Paul's actual suicide. The red carnation represents Paul's life, the carnations, like Paul, are rebelling against conformity facing the tough and trying to stay beautiful. The problem is, people that try to live a different life, always end up dead. By the carnations wilting in the end, it portrayed that the carnations; the only brightness left in his life was dulling.


Paul's way of dealing with life is escaping from reality. Paul uses types of art like music, theatre, to transport himself to his fantasy world. But he ends up getting caught up in his own world and finds it hard to distuingish reality from the world that he has made up. This made up fantasy life of his starts to cause problems in his real life, starting with small issues like lying to his classmates, and end with Paul taking his own life away. The world that he created in his mind to escape his life-ruining problems, ends up being the downfall to his real life, due to his lack of awareness. This brain represents the fantasy life that Paul has created in his mind and how this life that Paul created to escape his problems, ended up creating even harder problems.

Works Cited

DeMers, James. Red Carnations Flowers Fragrant Perennial. Digital image. Pixabay.

N.p., 29 Dec, 2012. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.

Geralt. Woman Group Silhouette Rate Women's Quota. Digital image. Pixabay. N.p.,

31 Dec. 2012. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.

Nemo. Building School Hallway Education Cartoon Lockers. Digital image. Pixabay.

N.p., 13 Apr. 2012. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.

Nemo. Human Cartoon Brain Colored System Nervous. Digital image. Pixabay. N.p.,

18 Apr. 2012. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.

Nemo. Wall Brick Double Hung Window See through. Digital image. Pixabay. 3 Apr.

2012. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.