Paul's Case Essay

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Jennifer Hicks is a professor and director of the Academic Support and Writing Assessment program at Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley, MA. In the essay below she explores the question of whether Paul's problem is due to heredity or to environment.

Are we products of nature or of the way we are nurtured? Do our genes dictate who we will be, or is our environment responsible for that? Are we governed by our own free will, or does destiny mandate what will become of us? These are some of the many questions that plague humanity, the questions that give philosophers, sociologists, scientists, and writers material with which to work. Willa Cather, in her short story "Paul's Case," brings forth these questions with admirable skill but offers no clear resolution, as can be seen by the two primary types of interpretation her critics have given to the story...

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This section contains 2,047 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Paul's Case Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Paul's Case from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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