Paul's Case: A Study In Temperament By Willa Cather

1320 Words6 Pages
The people surrounding Paul seem to be blind to his suffering, while it is suggested through the title: Paul’s Case: A Study in Temperament that the story is a medical case study. The author, Willa Cather suggests that society has no tolerance for those who suffer from mental illness, shown through the lack of understanding of Paul’s mental condition in her short story; ultimately, Cather blames society for Paul’s demise. The community’s absence of recognition pertaining to Paul’s mental illness is highlighted by the use of an omniscient narrator. The story begins with the narration focused on the teachers and then shifts to Paul. This change in focus allows the reader insight into the minds of the teachers to understand their perplexity…show more content…
At the turning point in the story, the change of pace emphasizes Paul’s worsening mental condition and the lack of recognition he receives when all of his worlds are brought together. His father, his classmates, his teachers and his beloved work all turn their backs on Paul when his behavior deteriorates as shown through his growing blurred view of…show more content…
The lack of support is what forces his isolation and alienation, which are expressed through the use of the change of pace. Paul begins his journey through New York calm and excited but is soon overwhelmed by his newfound freedom. The reader experiences an overwhelming sensation when reading this section, as each phrase is short and abrupt and the descriptive words used change from ‘lovely’ and ‘alluring’ to ‘raging’ and ‘spasm’ and ‘whirling’. The change in pace allows readers the unique experience to see inside Paul’s mind and understand how he is feeling. His anxiety is put on display as the short, concise statements make the reader feel
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