“Pauls Case”, by Cather, is a story in which Paul, an adolescent, is trying to find himself. Cather exposes the influence of a stable but cold environment to be detrimental to ones well being. Pauls dilemma begins with school, a place he is not fond of. His teachers have a strong disliking of Paul. This is seen at his readmittance inquiry “? they fell upon him without mercy, his English teacher leading the pack” (161). Only one teacher, the drawing master, recognizes Paul?s inner struggle. “The drawing master had come to realize that, in looking at Paul, one saw only his white teeth and forced animation of his eyes” (162). He also noted the time Paul had fallen asleep in class, “what a white, blue veined face it was; drawn and wrinkled like an old mans about the eyes, lips twitching even in his sleep” (162). This observation clues us that Paul is not a happy-go-lucky teenager; there is an inner battle going on.
Pauls true desire is seen in the theater when he sits to watch the symphony: “the first sigh of the instruments seem to free some hilarious and
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