Pauls Case Essay

932 words - 4 pages

Desirable Dreams What do people want in life? It seems that no matter how much he of she may have it is never enough to satisfy even the most down to earth person. Some say that they are truly happy with what they have and that they would not change their lives for the world, but somewhere deep inside them is that ache to want more and that feeling of need. People always want to fit in, and in our simple minds we feel that the best way to include ourselves is to obtain as many material things as one possibly can. Willa Cather's short story "Paul's Case" is a good example of someone who wants more. Paul is a dreamer, extremist, and in the end a madman. Right from the start it is easy to tell that Paul is a dreamer. While waiting for the concert hall doors to open he decided to go upstairs and check out some of the beautiful art work. From the very second Paul set his eyes on the painting of the boat he "lost himself." Paul became so in touch with the panting that I believe he had become one with the painting and began to dream that he was in the boat surrounded by the cool blue water and having the sun as bright as the gates of heaven beaming down onto his shoulders. Paul seems to "lose himself" once again at the symphony when the soloist begins to sing and when she had finished Paul clapped louder than anyone else. Before that however Paul had already acted out another fantasy in his colorful mind. As Willa Cather explains in the story, while Paul was seating the guests he began to believe that he was the host of a "great reception." Maybe that is why Paul would bend over backwards to please the concertgoers. Dreaming and fantasizing is how Paul finds his greatest satisfactions in life. In Paul's mind something registers as either extraordinary or wretched. Everything that was not ugly was beautiful to Paul. The theater is what Paul found to be most beautiful. He found beauty in the actors and the audience, but what really completed him was "to be in the atmosphere, float on the wave of it, to be carried out, blue league after blue league, away from everything." What Paul was letting himself drift away from was his very antisocial mundane life. If someone is to become a self-adjusted human then he or she must realize what he or she has, who they are, where they are from and come to terms with it. Paul could not complete any of these tasks. He hated...

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