The Tragic Tale of Paul's Case

analytical Essay
670 words
670 words

The Tragic Tale of Paul's Case

Love could have saved Paul in Willa Cather's "Paul's Case," but love does not find Paul. It is withheld within the hearts of all the people that could have shown affection toward Paul. Although Paul's life ends in suicide, Paul's English teacher, Charley Edwards, or Paul's father could have prevented his premature death.

First, Paul's English teacher could have prevented Paul's suicide. After her confrontation with Paul at the chalkboard, she becomes Paul's greatest school adversary. She is Paul's leading detractor at his meeting with the principal, but not without regret. Cather writes, "His teachers left the building dissatisfied and unhappy; humiliated to have felt so vindictive toward a mere boy, to have uttered this feeling in cutting terms, and to have set each other on, as it were, in the gruesome game of intemperate reproach" (156). The regretful English teacher should have spoken to Paul alone, but the story tells of no such occasion. Even though she has blown an opportunity to understand Paul, she is given another chance. During...

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how love could have saved paul, but it is withheld within the hearts of all the people that could've shown affection toward him.
  • Analyzes how charley edwards could have prevented paul's suicide by using paul as a servant.
  • Analyzes how paul's father could have prevented his suicide. he wanted to model his life after a local clerk, and he eliminated his job at carnegie hall.
  • Concludes that paul could have found salvation through a good relationship with his english teacher, charley edwards, or his father, but instead of finding love and understanding, he is rejected and alienated by all of his possible saviors.
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