October 24, 2012
Paul's True Colors
"Paul's Case" tells the story of a depressed young man named Paul whose feelings of superiority and desire for the finer things in life make him a misfit in his own world. Paul is a teenage boy who is trying to find his true self. He yearns to find happiness and escape the dull reality of his daily life. Paul isolates himself from the common, small minded people he so despises, and lives in a dream world, which comforts and accepts him. Despair and frustration force Paul to become a rebellion. He escapes to the life of his dreams before resolving to a final and unfortunate solution. Color symbolism in "Paul's Case" reveals Paul irrational view of happiness.
Paul considers his fantasy world to be where he is the happiest. This fantasy happiness is symbolized by the colors blue and purple. The color blue represents the enchantment of Paul's dream world. When the color blue is mentioned, Paul is daydreaming about romance and the finer things that aren't apart of his life. Paul "lost himself" while looking at the blue Rico painting in the Carnegie Hall gallery, and he dreams about being "carried out, blue league after blue league, away from everything" while listening to the orchestra. His dream world even includes a "blue-and-white Mediterranean shore." He wishes to be carried away from his Pittsburgh home and his simple life. What Paul fails to realize is that life is never perfect, just as he sees it in his dreams of glory, fame, and happiness. Such in the case with New York City. He dreams of the perfect life, but in the end it is all empty glitter and does not satisfy his desire for happiness.
The color purple represents the luxurious life for which Paul has longed for. The color purple gleams with luxury, royalty, and prosperity. When Paul leaves Pittsburgh, he comes to a new, perfect, New York City. Paul "felt now that his surroundings explained him." He had longed...