Symbolism In Paul's Case Essay

667 Words3 Pages
Flowers symbolize so many things in society nowadays. People receive and give flowers on several different occasions. Flowers are symbols of love, sadness, apologizes, excitement, passion, and many others. Flowers also play a big role in the story “Paul’s Case” written by Willa Cather. The main character, Paul, often gives special meaning to the flowers present in the story. That being said, the flowers in the story represent who Paul is. They represent the beauty in dismay, but most importantly they symbolize Paul. The first time that a flower is mentioned is when Paul tucks a red carnation in the buttonhole of his jacket, before appearing in front of the school board (176). This red carnation may just seem like a simple accessory, but to…show more content…
He is taking a walk in the cold white snow when he has a revelation. Paul realizes that all flowers die (190). He looks down at his coat and notices that he once lively, vibrant red carnations are now droopy and dull. Then Paul thinks back to the flowers in New York, they too would die eventually. That is when Paul decides that “It was a losing game in the end. . .” Paul decided that if something as beautiful as a flower cannot survive, then neither could he. Following his realization, Paul takes one of the flowers from its jacket and buries it in the snow. What one may not understand is that Paul is actually burying himself (190). After the snow had almost completely numbed him, he stood up and wait for the train to come. Paul jumped in front of the train in order to end his life (190). When Paul learned that flowers have an inevitable death, he decided he did too. As was previously stated, Paul did not feel as if he belonged. Similar to the way flowers do not belong in the snow. In the story “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather there are several examples of the connection between Paul and flowers. The flowers in this story symbolize how Paul feels. Flowers don’t belong on Cordelia street and neither did Paul. Flowers cannot survive in unstable conditions and neither could Paul. In the end, Paul felt that his suicide was unavoidable. And Paul perished, the way that all flowers eventually
Open Document