Willa Cather Writing Styles in Paul's Case

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"Paul's Case" centers on a high school student so taken by the life of wealth and culture that he runs away to New York City on stolen money to live lavishly, if only for a while. When his old middle-class life threatens to reclaim him, Paul commits suicide. The narrator's attitude towards Paul's actions is ironic. The narrator does not endorse Paul's decision to steal in order to live grandly. Nor does the narrator affirm Paul's decision to commit suicide after he realizes that "money was everything." The authorial voice often seems to be talking to the reader, reflecting on what the characters do not realize. For instance, while Paul despises Cordelia Street, it is described as a "perfectly respectable" middle-class neighborhood. Similarly, Paul's starry-eyed response to the world of the arts is directly contrasted to cruder realities: references to a "cracked orchestra" beating out an overture or...

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This section contains 538 words
(approx. 2 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.