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Perhaps it was because, in Paul's world, the natural nearly always wore the guise of ugliness, that a certain element of artificality seemed to him necessary in beauty."
When the whistle awoke him, he clutched quickly at his breast pocket, glancing about him with an uncertain smile...Paul settled back to struggle with his impatience as best as he could."
After supper with his family, Paul asks his father to go to George's to get some help with geometry, and even more nervously asking for car fare. Paul's father is not very lenient with money, and is not poor, but is rather ambitious to come up in the world.
Paul takes an overnight train to New York City, on which he had slept little and was uncomfortable. After reaching his destination, Paul called for cab and drove to different stores, spending his money on lavish wear. Paul then checked into the Waldorf hotel, one of wealth and fame.
"When he went to sleep, it was with the lights turned on in his bedroom; partly because of his old timidity and partly so that, if he should wake in the night, there would be no wretched moment of doubt, no horrible suspicion of yellow wallpaper, or of Washington and Calvin above his bed."
When he gets into his room, Paul recognizes that everything is perfect, except one thing, that it was missing flowers. Paul orders flowers, specifically violets to be brought up to his room by the bellboy and is finally satisfied with his situation.
"Then, because the picture-making mechanism was crushed, the disturbing visions flashed into black, and Paul dropped back into the immense design of things."
Paul takes a carriage up Fifth Avenue toward the Park. While on his ride, Paul notices flower gardens blooming under glass cases that appeal to him. When he returns, the scene is described to be darker and more gloomy, a reflection upon his dreadful and painful seclusion in life.
When he returned, the pause of twilight had ceased, and the tune of the streets had changed. The snow was falling faster, lights streamed from the hotels that reared their dozen stories fearlessly up into the storn, defying the raging Atlantic winds."
Paul then meets a freshman at Yale and so the two boys go out to tour the city that night. Although they started out cheerful with each other, the two ended up parting when they returned, no longer associating with each other, leading Paul to his return to a lonely life.
Paul comes to learn that his theft of one thousand dollars has been discovered and that his dad would be coming to New York in search of him. Paul stays for one more night, but wakes up the next morning to take a cab to railroad tacks, where he leaps in front of an oncoming train.
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