Compare And Contrast The Characters Of Paul In 'paul's Case' And The Narrator Of 'i'm A Fool'.

1872 words - 7 pages

Outline:1. Introduction: Brief Summary of each story; Introduction of the main characters2. Character Analysisa. Narrator of "I'm A Fool"b. Paul in "Paul's Case"3. Comparing and contrasting the charactersa. Religious Motivationb. Economical Issues4. ConclusionThesis Statement:The author of this essay wants to prove that Paul's actions are both influenced by economical and religious issues while the narrator's deeds in "I'm a Fool" are only economically influenced and happen mostly by mistake."Paul's Case" by Willa Cather is set in Pittsburgh at the beginning of the 20th century. The main character, Paul, is a high school student. He feels very frustrated with his life. He works as an usher at Carnegie Hall, but his father forbids him to work there. He eventually gets so fed up with his new work that he steals money from his employer and runs away to New York City. When he has to return home he chooses death over life as it was before."I'm a Fool" by Sherwood Anderson is also set at the beginning of the 20th century. It is told through the eyes of a young man who works as a horse swipe. He meets a girl of a higher social class at a horse race and is fascinated by her .He makes up a story about who he is and where he is from. He makes the girl believe that he is someone else. When he finally realizes that she likes him for whom and what he is he is too embarrassed to tell her the truth.The narrator in "I'm a Fool" shows quite a strong resemblance to Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye". He does not seem to long for worldly greatness, but makes himself believe that he already is and has achieved all that he wants (to be). This can be described as "perceived perfection" and many young people suffer from it. Perceived perfection for young people is when there are standards you just have to conform to to be accepted by the other teenagers. This might be the style of clothing, etc.The narrator also thinks that he does not have the mental capacity to become greater and therefore is of the opinion that the way he is now is the best he could become.But at the same time he feels himself to be inferior to other people and his actions therefore result from the yearning to make himself seem more important. The fact that he is friends with Burt makes this even more obvious: this makes the narrator appear superior as he does not have any prejudices towards colored people.Furthermore, his longing to be nicely dressed shows his subconscious feeling of inappropriateness, he feels he is what he wants to be, but subconsciously he still needs to wear good clothes to feel even better: "I left the job at noon and had on my good clothes and my new brown derby hat, I'd just bought the Saturday before, and a stand-up collar." ("I'm a Fool" 2)The narrator's easy going nature, his simple and straightforward character make him easily believable, the reader can relate to him. Because of his thoughts and desires, which are being revealed through the text...

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