The Setting of Paul's Case

1097 Words5 Pages
The setting of the short story “Paul’s Case” is clear and appropriate for the story. This is because Paul's feelings in the story happen to have a direct connection to the setting of the story. The East Coast of the United States is where the story takes place. From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Newark, New Jersey, and then on to New York, New York, the exact setting differs throughout the story. “…the dull dawn was beginning to show grey when the engine whistled a mile out of Newark” (Cather). At this point in the story, the main character, Paul, is on board a train which has departed from his hometown of Pittsburgh en route to the Jersey City Station. From there, he plans to make his way to the glamorous New York City, a city that he has always dreamed about visiting. As Paul reads the Pittsburgh paper on the morning of his eighth day in New York, he figures out that his dad is coming for him. “The rumour had reached Pittsburgh that the boy had been seen in a New York hotel, and his father had gone East to find him and bring him home” (Cather). Paul’s father is pursuing him because Paul had left home over a week ago and his father, only now, knows where Paul has run off to. The setting has a direct correlation to the state of Paul’s mind. For example, in a gloomy Pittsburgh, Paul tries anything and everything to get out of the life he is living, and escapes to the glamour and high-class life of New York. “…the New York scenes are heavily ironic…as [Paul] luxuriates in the Waldorf” (Wasserman). He does this in an attempt to find a better life for himself and to make himself, ultimately, happy.

“Paul’s Case” is set in winter, which is very fitting for the story. The story takes place from late November to the ...

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...he downfall that Paul goes through in the story.

Works Cited

Cather, Willa. "Paul's Case." Youth and the Bright Medusa. Willa Cather. Vintage, 1975. p181. Literature Resources from Gale. Gale. Web. 27 Jan. 2010.

Hicks, Jennifer. "Paul’s Case." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1997. 192-209. Short Stories for Students. Gale. Web. 21 Jan. 2010.

"Life Quotes and Sayings, Thoughts on the Philosophy of Life." The Quote Garden - Quotes, Sayings, Quotations, Verses. Web. 22 Jan. 2010.

"Paul’s Case." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1997. 192-209. Short Stories for Students. Gale. Web. 21 Jan. 2010.

Wasserman, Loretta. "Paul’s Case." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1997. 192-209. Short Stories for Students. Gale. Web. 21 Jan. 2010.
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