Paul's Case

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  • Paul is quickly judged and labeled by his teachers as an obnoxious and flippant student, but the drawing master brings up how he knows Paul's mother died when he was a baby, and he is the only one who sees through Paul's facade.
  • I want to come back to school.
  • What a rude child!
  • Poor kid...
  • Paul has a job working as an usher at a theater. This is where the reader gets a glimpse at who he truly is. Paul loves music and the theater and this seems to be the only place where he can be himself. However, his love for music and the arts can be seen as an addiction, because he is constantly trying to consume more art and he becomes irritable and shaken after his bouts with the arts.
  • Paul's father oppresses Paul by not accepting his son for who he is and constantly comparing him to another man. This man got married young and works as a clerk, but all Paul seems to care about is the becoming rich part, he does not seem to care about the "cash-boy" part.
  • Paul, why can't you be more like this young man?
  • Paul constantly tells outrageous lies about his close friendships with actors and actresses from the theater in order to prove that he is better than them. Through these efforts, Paul further isolates himself from his teachers and classmates.
  • Oh yeah, I know him, we hang out all the time. I'm actually meeting him today after school,
  • Paul steals $1,000 and runs away to New York. He stays in a fancy hotel, eats at expensive restaurants, buys luxurious items for himself, and he meets a boy from Yale. The author suggests that Paul is homosexual, another reason why he feels oppressed by society. But Paul finally feels utterly content.
  • When he finds out that he has been caught and that his father is coming to New York to look for him, Paul takes the gun he purchased on his first day in New York, takes a cab to a set of railway tracks, and jumps in front of an oncoming train. However, right before he dies, Paul realizes that he has made a mistake and thinks of all the places he will never see. However, the reader can understand why he wanted to commit suicide in the first place because of the death of his mother, his addiction to the arts, his homosexual tendencies, his impossible craving for money, and his alienation from society.
  • R.I.P. Paul
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