Short Story Paul's Case

1302 Words6 Pages

On October 1st, 2015, there was a mass shooting on a community college campus in Roseburg, Oregon, in which several people were injured and killed by a shooter named Chris Harper Mercer. At 10:30 am, Mercer entered a writing class and started asking all of the students to stand and state their religion. Regardless of their answer, the person was shot. If the student responded saying they were Christian, they were shot in the head. If they responded with anything else, they were shot in the foot. He was accounted by his peers to be “a lonely man who seethed with disdain for religion and had an interest in guns” (Frosch et al.). Although the events that take place in the short story “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather are not identical to the events …show more content…

“He was now entirely rid of his nervous misgivings, of his forced aggressiveness, of the imperative desire to show himself different from his surroundings. He felt now that his surroundings explained him” (Cather). Paul finally feels like he fit in. On his eighth day in New York, Paul’s father gets wind of the crime Paul committed. Paul learns that his father has paid his debt in full and is now coming to New York to find him and bring him home. Paul was beginning to feel the pressure; he knew he would soon have to return to Pittsburgh and settle back into his monotonous life “...and it was a losing game in the end, it seemed, this revolt against the homilies by which the world is run” (Cather). Paul thinks about the flowers he saw on his first day in New York. He compares his own short, but elaborate, escape with the short life of the beautiful flowers on his journey back to Cordelia Street. While dosing off on an overpass, Paul is awakened by the sound of an approaching train. When the time is right, Paul jumps from the overpass and “falls back into the immense design of things,” ending his life (Cather). After Chris Harvey Mercer walked into a classroom and killed nine people, he also took his own life. He too realized that “it was a losing game in the

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