Essay On Symbolism In Paul's Case

609 Words3 Pages
Symbolism is used in many stories, novels, and essays. It is an extraordinary addition to make a story interesting. The use of symbols in stories make the most significant ideas strike out as well as make the reader have distinctive ideas of what actually is trying to be said. Symbolism makes the reader think critically about what the author wants us as the readers to transmit. In “Paul’s Case,” there are some examples of the use of symbolism. The author, Willa Cather used flowers as symbols to describe and explain Paul’s life. In “Paul’s Case” we first meet Paul while he is meeting with the staff of Pittsburg High school. During this meeting, Paul wears a red carnation in his “buttonhole”. The purpose of the red carnation that Paul is wearing seems to be an obvious symbol of his separation from the middle-class neighborhood. Paul extremely dislikes most of the things about his life. His teachers find the red carnation very disrespectful and to them it symbolizes his cocky attitude. Many times he is said to live in a dull and boring life. However, the red carnation in his eyes adds thrill to his world and allows him to imagine himself as a wealthy human being, which is what he…show more content…
When Paul finally escapes to New York he is in his hotel room and realizes his journey does not seem certainly accomplished until he is brought a elegant and magnicificant bouquet of flowers. Once the bouquet is in his room he feels alive and the happiest he has ever been. Even the scent of flowers is used in the story as a symbol, in this case, to basically rub away the boringness of his normal life. Paul "scrubbed the greasy odor of the dish-water from his hands with the ill-smelling soap he hated, and then shook over his fingers a few drops of violet water from the bottle he kept hidden in his drawer" (Cather 4). Even the few drops of violet water make Paul feel wealthier than the “ill-smelling soap” that their middle-class home
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