Narcissistic Personality Disorder In Paul's Case

682 Words3 Pages
My Way or The Railway
“Paul’s Case”
Willa Cather

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” In the story, “Paul’s Case by Willa Cather, Paul was a young man who, in all reality, was a sad person who exhibited many signs of having a possible personality disorder. In the story, Paul dealt with alienation, having narcissistic tendencies, and a distortion of reality. The behavior that Paul displayed, ultimately created havoc in his life as it led him down a very dark path. A path that would inevitably be one he will walk alone.

In life, sometimes being alone isn’t all that bad, but Paul really seemed to enjoy it. He considered himself an individualist and alienated himself from others by exhibiting disrespect and contempt
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Some medical professionals label it as a Narcissistic personality disorder. Mayo Clinic states that, individuals dealing with this disorder, think only of themselves, have fantasies about power, arrogance, exaggeration of achievements and envy of others. (Mayo) Paul definitely exhibited these traits. He was arrogant and rude toward his teacher or any other authority figure. The author states, Paul was always smiling, always glancing about him, seeming to feel that people might be watching him and trying to detect something. This conscious expression, since it was as far as possible from boyish mirthfulness, was usually attributed to insolence or "smartness."(Cather) Paul would then exaggerate his life to others as if it were the greatest, most extravagant life there was to live among the theater and actors. He was building his ego. Consequently, it’s quite possible that the early death of his mother left him without a source of the love he needed to sustain his ego, so he had to create a grander
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