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Struggling Inside The Mind Of Paul

786 words - 4 pages

Paul is so obsessed with money that he believes money will solve all of his problems. The thought of the shame associated with those who have little or no money compared to the life of the rich persists in the mind of Paul. Paul enthusiastically analyzes his own vaguely poor existence and hates every detail of women’s graceless conversations as well as confined houses, filthy bathrooms, and men’s respectful manner toward their bosses. Due to Paul’s misunderstanding regarding work and money, it is evident that Paul will probably never become as successful as his idols. While listening to a discussion between Paul’s father and a young clerk Paul becomes fascinated by the talk of the “iron kings;” however, “he was interested in the triumphs of these cash boys who had become famous, though he had no mind for the cash-boy stage” (par. 25). Paul craves the results of hard work but refuses the manual labor that precedes the riches. Paul believes that he is the only one that understands the best way of building wealth. Those around him, more importantly his neighbors, obsess and pride themselves with their conservativeness and even pass down their money-saving techniques to their children. Paul believes that their money-saving techniques are outrageous and ridicules their poor man mentality; however, Paul does not realize that one must save money in order to move up in the social hierarchy. Paul is certain that he was to be born rich; it comes as no surprise when he steals one-thousand dollars in cash from Denny & Carson’s, where Paul works. In a strange way, Paul feels he deserves the money without working for it. Paul’s obsession with wealth along with his misunderstanding of money drives Paul to commit a felony.
Although money is a major concern in Paul’s eyes, he finds a dangerous drug in his appreciation of art and music. Paul finds happiness and vitality while listening to the music of the theater or by simply gazing at the works of the picture gallery, but his happiness is only an illusion. Instead of enjoying the art, Paul treats it similarly to an addictive drug. “It was not that symphonies, as such, meant anything in particular to Paul, but the first sight of the instruments seemed to free some hilarious and potent spirit within him” (par. 14). The way Paul uses art to...

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