this essay describes the settings in Paul's Case by Willa Carter

Essay by jess4200University, Bachelor'sA-, October 2002

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The setting of a story is something that can easily be taken for granted. Setting is defined as the environment in which characters live and move. However the setting can also hurt the character as they try to survive their surroundings. An example of this downfall would be the short story "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather. The multiple settings in this story from school and living on Cordelia Street, working at Carnegie Hall, to staying in New York all directly play a part in the tragedy of Paul's life. We learn of a young man who is fighting what he fears most: to be as common and plain as his world around him.

Paul has very little interest in his class studies. Although Paul's appearance is that of a perfect gentleman, his teachers find his behavior inappropriate and unacceptable. They have no understanding of Paul's behavior and do not wish to learn.

How others perceive Paul only encourages him to fulfill his dream of escaping his monotonous lifestyle. Paul is longing for the beauty and aesthetics pleasures in life. He does not get any of that in his house on Cordelia Street. Paul feels he is drowning in his everyday environment and his only breath of air is his savior: the theater.

Carnegie Hall is a haven for Paul and gives him the classy atmosphere of the arts that he lacks in his life. He is able to escape and be with the rich and attractive people that come to the hall. Paul loses himself in the music of the symphonies, the characters of the plays, and in the artful scenery. He became lost in seemingly all forms of creative expression, whether it is a floral arrangement in a shop window or an orchestral swell at the beginning...