A summary and analysis of the symbolisms in pauls case by willa cather

View Image of Page 75 usually attributed to insolence or "smartness. He had no sooner entered the dining-room and caught the measure of the music than his remembrance was lightened by his old elastic power of claiming the moment, mounting with it, and finding it all-sufficient.

The snow was whirling so fiercely outside his windows that he could scarcely see across the street but within the air was deliciously soft and fragrant.

She initially dreamed of becoming a doctor, but after publishing a literary essay in a newspaper while a student at the University of Nebraska, she decided to become a writer.

An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria, was published in as well. His limbs and hands were lead heavy, and his tongue and throat were parched and burnt. He bounded up with a start; half of one of his precious days gone already. The books at home were not such as would either tempt or corrupt a youthful mind, and as for reading the novels that some of his friends urged upon him—well, he got what he wanted much more quickly from music; any sort of music, from an orchestra to a barrel-organ.

Paul's Case Summary

In the moment that the door was ajar, it seemed to Paul that he too entered. He felt now that his surroundings explained him. As the house filled, he grew more and more vivacious and animated, and the color came to his cheeks and lips. He seemed to feel himself go after her up the steps, into the warm, lighted building, into an exotic, a tropical world of shiny, glistening surfaces and basking ease.

Even under the glow of his wine he was never boisterous, though he found the stuff like a magician's wand for wonder-building. His golden days went by without a shadow, and he made each as perfect as he could.

Lastly, he stopped at a trunk shop on Broadway, and had his purchases packed into various traveling bags. Not once, but a hundred times, Paul had planned this entry into New York.

Paul stopped short before the door. He spent upward of two hours there, buying with endless reconsidering and great care. Somewhat calmed by his suppression, Paul dashed out to the front of the house to seat the early comers.

As he listens, he feels full of life. Privately, the drawing master remembers seeing Paul asleep one day in class and being shocked at his aged appearance.

His nerves had been steady enough to permit of his returning to the office, where he had finished his work and asked for a full day's holiday tomorrow, Saturday, giving a perfectly reasonable pretext.

She happened to be an angular schoolmistress, much older than he, who also wore thick glasses, and who had now borne him four children, all near-sighted, like herself. His father chats with a young clerk whom he hopes Paul will emulate. It is a pleasant scene, but Paul is disgusted by it.

Paul's Case Analysis

He rose and moved about with a painful effort, succumbing now and again to attacks of nausea. His dearest pleasures were the gray winter twilights in his sitting-room; his quiet enjoyment of his flowers, his clothes, his wide divan, his cigarette, and his sense of power.

On the eighth day after his arrival in New York, he found the whole affair exploited in the Pittsburg papers, exploited with a wealth of detail which indicated that local news of a sensational nature was at a low ebb.

The men on the steps—all in their shirt sleeves, their vests unbuttoned—sat with their legs well apart, their stomachs comfortably protruding, and talked of the prices of things, or told anecdotes of the sagacity of their various chiefs and overlords.


Everything was quite perfect; he was exactly the kind of boy he had always wanted to be. He awoke at two o'clock in the afternoon, very thirsty and dizzy, and rang for ice-water, coffee, and the Pittsburg papers. His dearest pleasures were the gray winter twilights in his sitting-room; his quiet enjoyment of his flowers, his clothes, his wide divan, his cigarette, and his sense of power.

It occurred to him that all the flowers he had seen in the glass cases that first night must have gone the same way, long before this. He had been suspended a week ago, and his father had called at the principal's office and confessed his perplexity about his son.

The moment he turned into Cordelia Street he felt the waters close above his head. He is bored with school and hates his shabby room at home and his middle-class neighbors and the street where he lives.

Paul grinned and said he guessed so. Perhaps it was because his experience of life elsewhere was so full of Sabbath-school picnics, petty economies, wholesome advice as to how to succeed in life, and the unescapable odors of cooking, that he found this existence so alluring, these smartly clad men and women so attractive, that he was so moved by these starry apple orchards that bloomed perennially under the lime-light.

He would tell his father that he had no car fare, and it was raining so hard he had gone home with one of the boys and stayed all night. This was what all the world was fighting for, he reflected; this was what all the struggle was about.

It was only one splendid breath they had, in spite of their brave mockery at the winter outside the glass, and it was a losing game in the end, it seemed, this revolt against the homilies by which the world is run. Cather uses the flowers as symbols in "Paul's Case".

Explain the symbolism of the flowers in the The flowers that appear consistently in the story represent Paul trying to see and find beauty in a very mundane, uncertain world. Paul's Case is actually the story of a boy who prefers a feminine lifestyle. Many people take the flower to be his way to spite the teachers when they try to punish him.

More accurately, it it is example of Paul. All aboard, Shmoopers. You may have noticed that trains are important in this story. They take Paul from place to place, and, well, you know what happens at the end. “Paul’s Case,” the only short story Willa Cather approved for anthologies, opens with a young boy called before his high school principal and teachers.

Paul is getting the once-over by a panel of angry teachers. They're trying to decide whether to let him back in school, and their mood is not improved by the saucy red carnation he's tucked into his buttonhole. In the end, the principal speaks with Paul’s father, and Paul is forbidden to return to school, Carnegie Hall, or the theater where Charley Edwards works.

The theater company’s members hear about Paul’s lies and find them comical.

A summary and analysis of the symbolisms in pauls case by willa cather
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SparkNotes: Paul’s Case: A Study in Temperament: Plot Overview