Brief Story


In the 1905 brief story “Paul’s Case”, author Willa Cather leaves you to question what exactly Paul’s “case” can be. Throughout the account, there seems to become clues put aside by Cather as to what Paul’s obstacles happen to be. Some of Cather’s indications of what Paul is working with, make it appear as if Paul can be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), and effects of an unresolved Oedipus Complex. These types of potential elements of Paul’s ambiguous character are expressed through Paul’s actions. Instances of some of his alarming behavior would be his views on contemporary society and his poor decisions towards the very end of the account.

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In Willa Cather’s story, “Paul’s Case”, the opening scene starts off which has a meeting speaking about if Paul, the main persona of the account, should be allowed reentry to varsity following his suspension every week prior. Following the meeting, it comes up that there was something special in Paul that no one can directly understand. It comes away that in a very young age, Paul lost his mom. It’s crystal clear that he wouldn’t keep in mind this experience or remember her by any means, but there are numerous direct effects from losing a parent. An impact of burning off a parent could possibly be developing Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This disorder can cause a person to feel as if they’re better than all those surrounding all of them and seem like they’re entitled to more than the actual have earned. There are many various other symptoms of this kind of disorder such as, “Feeling and behaving in socially disturbing ways, constraining their capability to function in relationships and also other areas of their particular life, including work or school¦ feeling a sense of entitlement ” and when not acquiring special treatment, one may turn into impatient or angry. One may insist on obtaining the best of everything¦” (Mayo Clinic) These examples of NPD will be clearly shown in Paul’s arrogant individuality. As Paul’s teachers recognize they should be much easier on him, he is allowed back into university. Following the conference, Paul visits his place of work, Carnegie Area, where he is an usher. Being an jason derulo, seems to be Paul’s calling is obviously. He values this job and admires what he does, into a point where it is a bit alarming. Paul seems to be infatuated by fine art and theatre, “The tools seemed to free some amusing and strong spirit within just him¦He felt a sudden zeal of lifestyle, the lights danced ahead of his eyes and the live performance hall blazed into ridiculous splendor” (Cather). The author’s descriptions of Paul’s content experience express that art is like a getaway for him. However , for somebody in a bad state like Paul, this type of escapes aren’t benefiting him. He is previously so away of touch with truth, therefore added delusions will not aid his distorted look at of the world. Pursuing the symphony, this individual follows a singer in the show with her hotel, this individual stood outdoors daydreaming of what it will be like to live a luxurious lifestyle like her. His daydreams on this life he believes he should have reveal the possibility of him inhabiting this disorder. This kind of possibility is usually reflected through his various other actions. His actions as well reflect probability of other concerns within Paul.

Willa Cather identifies the street Paul’s house is usually on as “highly respectable”. As Paul heads house, it’s pointed out that Paul feels a shudder of loathing as he heads to his avenue. He hates the ease of the lives surrounding him, the author describes his views as, “¦loathing of decent beds, of common meals, of a property penetrated by simply kitchen odors, a shuddering repulsion to get the tasteless, colorless mass of every-day existence, a morbid desire to have cool issues and soft lights and fresh flowers” (Cather). Whilst he still lives a well off existence, but still desires for more. These greedy methods about him could be explained by his disorderly personality. When Paul finally occurs home, we uncover new information about Paul. Cather claims how Paul had a fear of rats and didn’t like the basement of his residence, but to steer clear of confrontation via his father, Paul chooses to sleep down there. This reveals the solid feelings he or she must have towards his daddy. However , towards the reader, keep in mind that seem like Paul’s father has its own strong bad feelings towards Paul. It turns out Paul’s father really desires the absolute great for Paul, this can be reflected down the line as well. The subsequent evening, Paul heads to the theatre, to hang out with a friend named Charley, who comes off as maybe more than a friend. Cather describes their very own relationship as, “For more than a year Paul had spent every available second loitering about Charley Edwardss dressing-room¦the small actor, who have could not find the money for to employ a dresser” (Cather). Willa Cather also procedes mention that theater was Paul’s infatuation, nevertheless she mentions it so that may suggest something more about Charley, “This was Pauls fairy tale, and completely for him all the centripetal force of a key love” (Cather). This statement seems to mean that Paul may have been homosexual. His feelings to Charley, his feelings to his father, and the loss of life of his mother stage towards the chance of an conflicting Oedipus Complex. The Oedipus Complex, a theory simply by Sigmund Freud, suggests that throughout a child’s advancement it is important to experience a “¦desire to get sexual involvement with the parent or guardian of the opposing sex and a concomitant sense of rivalry with all the parent of the identical sex” (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica). This is important because it helps mold the personality of a child. When the child eventually unconsciously realizes that they can’t be with the parent in the opposite sexual intercourse, they take characteristics from the parent or guardian of the same sexual intercourse to try and be more like all of them, hoping to find an individual similar to all of them. In Paul’s case, he only got his dad for his entire life. If perhaps this process by simply Freud is very crucial to sexual development and molding one’s personality, Paul failed to complete it, leaving it uncertain. This could possess resulted in him only getting subconsciously drawn to his daddy, developing a more homosexual individuality. Being gay could have extremely contributed to Paul’s issues taking into consideration the time period plus the likeliness to be accepted so that he was by simply society great father. These kinds of ideas are further more proven later in the account when Paul meets one more boy. This possible uncertain Oedipus Complicated and Narcissistic Personality Disorder could be members to Paul’s case. These contributors afterwards have a solid impact of Paul’s fate. Throughout “Paul’s Case”, Paul seems to lose himself and expand more isolated as we approach the ending. Paul’s symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder grow as he grows réaliser of Charley. Paul starts bragging by school about how exactly close he could be with the theater and different stars, a symptom of NPD is, “¦exaggerating the achievements and talents” (Mayo Clinic). It is alarming pertaining to the school and Paul’s daddy. Eventually, Paul’s father drags him out of school, besides making him quit from doing work at the movie theater. On top of taking away his dream job, this individual doesn’t permit him to see Charley anymore. Paul’s father didn’t do this to hurt Paul, he truly did this for Paul’s benefit. Pursuing these occasions, Paul takes an immediately train to New York City. This kind of trip was planned out to every detail, right down to the fresh flowers in his hotel room, “He choose to go over all the details of it with Charley Edwards, and in his scrap-book in the home there were pages of explanation about Ny hotels, lower from the Sunday papers” (Cather). Upon arrival, Paul is touch just as before with his NPD. Before Paul departed to New York, he was working anywhere new, he was asked to produce a deposit by a financial institution, but this individual kept the majority of the money. Now that he is in New York, this individual decides to live his life the way he has often dreamt to. Paul goes toward stores and purchases the best clothes and shoes, and checks in to the Waldorf. This individual lives these kinds of few days like he thought he should have lived his whole life. He spends a night watching the orchestra at the hotel, this individual felt this individual truly belonged there. Another night, Paul encounters a new boy, the brand new boy is a Yale college student. Paul’s experience of this boy is not detailed or perhaps explained very much at all, although Cather suggests that Paul plus the Yale college student had some type of sexual relations the night that they met. “¦The two young boys went out with each other after evening meal, not returning to the resort until several oclock the next morning¦The freshman pulled himself together for making his train and Paul went to bed” (Cather). This really is another example of Paul’s conflicting Oedipus Intricate, and his homosexuality. Not long following, Paul’s robbery has made its way towards the newspaper. Once Paul scans, he discovers his dad paid the amount of money back and was on his approach to obtain him. Paul then thinks about what would be to come, his old streets, and the simpleness of your life back home, “Until now, he could not bear in mind the time if he had not been dreading something” (Cather). When his last time arrived, he realized what it was this individual lived to get, “¦he knew now, these days, that cash was every thing, the wall membrane that was between almost all he loathed and all he wanted” (Cather). After this understanding, Paul determines to head towards the train, to never go back home, but for jump prior to oncoming train. That is just what he does. At this point, it’s clear towards the reader that Paul was planning this trip to include a final wonderful experience.

In “Paul’s Case”, the protagonist, Paul, has a upsetting life. This individual inhabits Narcissistic Personality Disorder and a great unresolved Oedipus Complex. This individual also a new series of poor experiences and felt his calling anytime was something he would under no circumstances achieve. Paul also has not been appreciative a vast amount of and did not have an optimistic outlook on life or society on its own. Paul’s circumstance is he felt like he didn’t belong where he was and necessary more money to get there.

Works Reported

Cather, Willa “Paul’s Case” 1905 Print

Mayo Clinic “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” November 8, 2014 Website

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica “Oedipus Complex” Website

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