A Study in Temperament It was Paul's afternoon to appear before the faculty of the Pittsburgh High School to account for his various misdemeanors.
Overview[ edit ] Around the turn of the century, Pittsburgh was an industrial center with a successful class of business leaders. New York City was known to be a place that one can escape to.
From his negative surroundings, he would be anxious to make a perfect way of living. From his conservative environment, he would purposely separate himself from everyone else and feel isolated.
For example, he enjoys a symphony concert not so much for the music, but for the atmosphere: Once he exhausts his funds, he commits suicide rather than allow his father to take him back to Pittsburgh. The term enables Cather to adopt "the voice of medical authority.
At the start of the story, Paul is suspended from his high school in Pittsburgh for a week. He then goes to work at a music hall in Pittsburgh, named Carnegie Hall.
Here he enjoys donning his uniform and performing his job as an usher with enthusiasm as if he were the host of a grand social event. He stays for the concert and enjoys the social scene, while losing himself in the music. After the concert, Paul follows the soloist and imagines life inside her hotel room.
Unfortunately, the audience learns that Paul and his father have a poor relationship. Upon returning home very late one night, Paul enters through the basement to avoid a confrontation with his father.
Paul stays awake all night imagining what would happen if his father mistook him for a burglar and shot him, or if his dad would recognize him in time. Paul despises the " burghers "  on his respectable but drab street. Although his father considers him a role model for Paul, Paul is unimpressed by a plodding young man who works for an iron company and is married with four children.
While Paul longs to be wealthy, cultivated, and powerful, he lacks the stamina and ambition to attempt to change his condition. Instead, Paul escapes his monotonous life by visiting Charley Edwards, a young actor.
Later on, Paul makes it clear to one of his teachers that his job ushering is more important than his schoolwork, and his father prevents him from continuing to work as an usher. He buys an expensive wardrobe, rents a room at the Waldorf-Astoria Hoteland walks around the city.
His few days of impersonating a rich, privileged young man bring him more contentment than he has ever known. Paul reveals that he had bought a gun on his first day in New York City, and he briefly considers shooting himself to avoid returning to his old life in Pittsburgh.
Eventually, he decides against it and instead commits suicide by jumping in front of a train. Paul made the ultimate decision of taking his own life because the thought of returning to his old one was too much for him to handle, and he felt the need to escape into a whole different world where it was much more enjoyable to be.
Symbolism[ edit ] Flowers- Flowers, such as a red carnation and violets, appear many times throughout the story.
Since Paul sees everything as dull and boring, the flowers represent the desire that he has to find the beauty in life. Paul had the opportunity to use a gun to end his life. However, the gun belonged to his father.
Paul had always feared his father. Right before Paul kills himself, the carnations are "drooping with the cold It premiered in April at the Artisphere in Washington, D.
Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism. University of Nebraska Press,p. Studies in Short Fiction.Willa Cather’s “Paul’s Case” is a story about a young 16 year-old man, Paul, who is motherless and alienated.
Paul’s lack of maternal care has led to his alienation.
He searches for the aesthetics in life that that he doesn’t get from his yellow wallpaper in his house and his detached. Alienation in “Paul’s Case” By Willa Cather Essay Sample Alienation, as defined by the Webster’s Dictionary, “is the act of estrangement or withdrawing affections” – barnweddingvt.com There are many factors that lead to the alienation of humans and alienation can take many forms, within a .
PAUL'S CASE A STUDY IN TEMPERAMENT BY They agreed with the faculty and with his father that Paul's was a bad case. II. The Willa Cather Archive is freely distributed by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. "Paul’s Case: A Study in Temperament" is a short story by Willa Cather that was first published in Well, Willa Cather isn't saying that you should follow Paul's example.
But maybe there's a happy medium between Paul's grisly end and the less grisly but no more deadly lives of the Cordelia Street burghers—or an middle-management office drone. Willa Cather's "Paul's Case" is a story about a young 16 year-old man, Paul, who is motherless and alienated.
Paul's lack of maternal care has led to his alienation. He searches for the aesthetics in life that that he doesn't get from his yellow wallpaper in his house and .