Paul's Case Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Paul's Case.
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The American Dream

The American Dream is an underlying theme of the story. Paul's father and the rest of Cordelia Street, a "perfectly respectable" middle-class neighborhood, believe in values of hard work, family and church. During their leisure time, they sit around swapping stories about their bosses, the "captains of industry" who worked themselves up from poverty to lead large corporations and live in luxury. Paul despises the monotonous lives led by Cordelia Street residents, who believe that if they work hard, they too might lead such glamorous lives. But Paul shares their same desire: to become rich and lead a life without worry. He too likes to listen to the "legends of the iron kings." Disdaining the "cash-boy stage," Paul wants the "triumphs of the cash boys who became famous."

Paul does manage to live a life of leisure and beauty, but not through hard work, and only...

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This section contains 1,084 words
(approx. 3 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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