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Paul's Barometric Color

  • Date Submitted: 12/05/2011 12:08 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 66.5 
  • Words: 777
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Paul’s Barometric Color

The many colors referenced in Willa Cather’s story of Paul’s Case denote Paul’s feelings, mood, desires and frustrations.

Paul’s self orientation, thoughts of conceit, and his yearnings for the greater things in life make him an unusual person in his own world, a world lacking affection and the attention he craved. Paul loves the glamorous world of art, music and theatre. He was unhappy and especially despised living on Cordelia Street. Paul believed everyone around him was beneath him. He did not like the monotonous reality of everyday life. He did not get along with his father or his teachers, turning him to isolation and a fantasy world.   Paul lives for beauty and believes money can bring him happiness.

Paul planned his escape to New York long before being removed from school. He dreamed of “movin on up” and living life in high society. He wanted to live in style, the way the actors and actresses that he worked with in Carnegie Hall and rich folks and lived. Paul wanted to be where he though he “belonged”. He believes wealth is his destiny, therefore having no regrets about stealing the money.

The color yellow exhibits repulsiveness and fear in his life. The school walls are bare and ugly. His bedroom is covered in “horrible yellow wallpaper” (pg. 248). “Paul was quite accustomed to lying; found it indeed indispensable for overcoming friction” (pg 244). His lying represents another “yellow” streak in his life. He’s frightened of turning out to be just like the people he has grown to detest. Paul lies constantly to often times impress his classmates and teachers or to get himself out of sticky situations.

Paul is able to run away from this unbearable world through the color blue. Blue denotes Paul’s “dream world”. The color blue allows him to tell of life of his choosing in pretentious ways. He dreams about the opera, romance, and the finer things that he does not have in his own life. He is delighted by “Raffelli’s gay...


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