Paul’s Case by Willa Cather
Summary and Theme of Paul’s Case by Willa Cather
Paul’s Case is a short story about the central character Paul. The whole story moves around Paul’s suspension from his school. After the suspension Paul leaves his School. The teachers are not happy by his activities. They came to know that he is deeply disturbed by some things. So, the teacher start discussing about his case. Teachers have very little information about Paul. Paul’s mother is dead.
He does not have a good relationship with his father. It seems that Paul is disturbed by past incident of mother as well as presents behaviour of his father. Paul is not ready to share his feelings to his teachers. Paul is suspended for a week for his attitude of defiance.
Paul goes to town after the suspension. He does not like to go home because of his part time job at the opera house. He works as a usser at the opera house. Paul is a good usser at the opera house. He is very charming to his visitors. Visitors notice his lively and charming personality.
The opera house consider’s him as a modern worker. Paul also enjoy his Job at the opera house.
Paul is busy at the opera. He helps soloist to reach her hotel. He finds the hotel very luxurious. He compares it with his school environment. He finds his school and home boring. They symbolize his boring life. But his life at his work is very interesting. He knows the fact that he has to return to his home.
After reaching his house, he doesn’t like to the see face of his father. Without facing his father, he moves to cellar and spend the night. He can’t sleep their because rats’ fear. He remembers different past activities with his father to entertain himself.
After a week on sunday, he returns back to his school. After his school, he hangs around his neighbors. He is not happy with his one neighbor because of his complain. The neighbors works as a clerk in a steel company. Paul’s father compares Paul with the clerk. After that, he goes to the theater to help an actor for his performance. Paul is attracted towards the theaters activities. He finds it superior than his normal life. It is better than his life at school and at home.
Paul tells his friends about his fake connection with actors and actress. The headmaster comes to know about the Paul’s rumour. The headmaster reports it to Paul’s father. Paul’s father is not happy with paul’s behaviour. As a result, his father forces him to leave his job as an usser. His father searches a job for Paul at his business office. Paul joins the new job.
After joining the new job, Paul runs away taking(stealing) a large amount of money from his new office. He reaches to the city. He buys different clothes and shoes. He buys suits, shoes and hats for different social events. He also books a hotel to spend the night.
He relaxes in the hotel. He doesn’t imagine going to his home town. Next, he goes to New York to enjoy lavish dinner. He finds that all guests are indifferent to each other. He feels that he is also a part of New York with his new clothes. Next, he goes to meet his college friend in the hotel. He spends all night on the town with his one friend. After spending 8 days in New York, he knows that newspaper has published his theft. Police are searching him. After catching a train, he reaches train tracks. He wants to commit suicide rather than returning to his old life.