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Paul's Case Essay

  • Submitted by: ndickr
  • on March 23, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,006 words

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Below is an essay on "Paul's Case" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Ignoring the reality of everyday life and how it works can obsure individuals perspective of the world, which has devastating effects, such as not being able to understand what it best for ones self in life. In ‘Paul’s Case’ by Willa Cather, the protagonist, Paul, experiences these devastating effects.   In order to escape the misery of his everyday life, Paul ignores reality and devises an affluent life for himself, however it is these illogical measures that ultimately cause him to make irrational and harsh decisions that prevent him from securing self-fulfillment.



Paul’s great misunderstanding about the relationship between work and money cause him to carry out decietful actions that lead to his downfall. Paul strongly believes that he belongs in the upper, wealthy class and not in the slightly impoverished middle class he was ‘accidently’ born in to. Paul’s hatred for his middle class lifestyle is so strong, that he feels it is necessary to ‘artificially enhance’ his life by lying and stealing. Even though Cordelia street is a respectable neighbourhood, Paul views it as a poor and ugly area, because it lacks the extravagence that represents wealth and to him beauty. In Paul’s world, “the natural nearly always wears the guide of ugliness, that a certain element of artificiality seemed necessary in beauty.” (Paul’s Case, pg. 7). Paul despises his common life so much that he feels he must hid it from his peers through lies. He tells them false information of his ‘upper class’ life, such as announcing his travels to far off places, to make them believe he is above the average middle class person. Every lie Paul tells, the further away he gets from realizing and appreciating the good that is already present in his life (such as family) and from securing his self-fulfillment. Blinded by his strong desire to live an extravagent life, Paul believes that money is the only way out of the existence he loathes, and steals one thousand dollars from his company in an...

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