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Symbolism In Paul's Case

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In the opening scene of Paul’s Case, the author notes the vibrant, red carnation that Paul wears to his disciplinary meeting and the teacher’s distaste of what they believe the flower symbolizes referring to it as a, “scandalous red carnation” and how, “his whole attitude was symbolized by...his flippantly red carnation flower” (114). A defiant student, shown by his disrespect toward his teachers, Paul seems unfazed to the fact that he is in a disciplinary meeting and choses to act indifferent to what his teachers say about him. He is arrogant and holds himself to a higher status than his teachers thus causing him to feel entitled. The red carnation symbolizes his idealistic view of society in which he had hopes and dreams to elevate himself and achieve the higher status that he believes that he deserves. Paul’s world comes crumbling down though when he realizes that he could not pretend to be part of the world that he wanted to be in. He believed that the money could get him the idealistic life that he had imagined for himself in which he has no worries, however, he realizes that life is not like a fairytale and the world is a lot more difficult than he thought that it would be. The last few broken actions that the reader sees of Paul, again, revolve around the red carnation. Before he goes to the train station where he plans to commit suicide, he buys the vibrant, red carnations that one symbolized his hopes and dreams for himself. It is when he reaches the train
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