Alienation in "Paul's Case" By Willa Cather

Essay by matt_c_j486High School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Downloaded 65 times

Alienation, as defined by the Webster's Dictionary, "is the act of estrangement or withdrawing affections" - There are many factors that lead to the alienation of humans and alienation can take many forms, within a family or within society. When a person is considered 'different', they are pushed out of society and because of this become withdrawn and eventually find themselves even more abnormal. In the short story, "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather, the main character Paul struggles with societies limited view of 'normal'. Paul is jaded by society; he does not fit in as an individual and therefore becomes a different person. Society causes people to create a fantasy world or a lie that they can escape to in order to find happiness when they feel they are not accepted by those around them.

People try to fit in so that they are accepted by others.

When a person cannot fit in they adapt so that those around them will accept them. Many people make up things about themselves, or make up a separate lifestyle, when they do this they are changing who they are and are therefore making it harder for society to accept them for who they truly are. By trying to be someone they are not, they make it difficult for others to see them as an individual and instead see them as a follower. People change themselves and all that they stand for so that others will change others their views of them, by changing their morals no longer fit with this persons 'image'. In the beginning of the story the reader is introduced to Paul as an abnormal adolescent; his teachers, pupils and even his family view Paul as someone who clearly does not fit into the "American Dream". Paul possesses...