Paul’s Case Literary Criticism





Paul’s Case Literary Criticism


Psychoanalytic criticism was used in the analysis of Paul’s Case especially in his usage of symbolism and designs. Paul was presented as a happy and polished young man with a flair for insolence, but the critique gradually realized that Paul’s view of the world was illogical and sought to expose his deeper flaws (Wright 17). The author cited his ability to masquerade a prosperous individual as symbolic of his impoverished past and his efforts to avoid it. The critique sought to bring a connection between Paul’s difficult past and his preference for a lavish lifestyle. Cultural criticism addressed the societal elements that were working for and against the main character. The criticism outlined the dilemma that Paul faced in his choice of lifestyle (Reichl 45; Roland 34).

The effect of affluent Western lifestyles on young residents was evidently put into question by this phase of evaluation. Deconstruction as a method of criticism sought to break down the different aspects of Paul’s life from his education to his social life as well as his intellectual stature (Ryan 39; Salager-Meyer, Françoise & Beverly 67). Historicism was clearly covered in the assessment by various critiques who sought to examine the author’s background and how this affected his choice of themes and lifestyle (Kennedy 35). Lastly, addressing the he links between a text’s proposals and its form was used by individuals who subscribed to new criticism (Trudeau 18). The intention of the author and her choice of words created a lot of disapproval, imagery and contempt within the reader. In the text, Paul was constantly depicted as an irresponsible, lofty and visionless individual who had the opportunity to run amok throughout the country (Cart 29).

Reader Response Criticism

In the analysis of the short story, Paul’s Case, the main character appears as a catastrophic story mainly because he discovered that his attitudes and desires were distorted when it was too late. His frantic need to utilize beauty and secular luxuries were a constant effort to hide the shame that he originated from the lower class (Cather 22). The story presented a classical moral in the way human beings assumed that possessing worldly possessions was the solution to all problems. However, ass Paul illustrated, amassing property came at the cost of lacking knowledge and experience in different matters (Cather 12). The issue of conflict as emerged within the text. Paul was experiencing a conflict between career, education and social stability as he had a passion for arts while his parents thought he should finish his education and get a proper job. Modern themes such as human rights were also exceptionally interwoven into the plot of the story.

The relationship between Paul and his father was largely unfair to an extent that he (Paul) was taken out of school to work in a corporate firm without much consideration for the current children’s’ rights (Cather 18). The author made proper use of different literary styles and this enriched the whole plot. The climax of the story was very interesting and captivating especially the scene where Paul takes off to New York furnished with stolen money from the company where he worked as an employee. Furthermore, the conclusion of the story also served to bring about suspense as readers were left wondering what happened after Paul committed suicide by jumping in front of a moving train (Cather 31). The use of graphic and detailed vocabulary especially during the exciting sections of the story served to create an easy read. However, several flaws existed in the short story. The usage of an anti-climax in the conclusion disrupted the flow of the suspense created earlier when Paul started a promising new life in New York. In conclusion, the text was an excellent work of literature that effectively delivered the major and minor themes with ease.

Works Cited:

Cart, Michael. Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism. Chicago: American Library Association, 2010. Print.

Cather, Willa. Stories, Poems, and Other Writings. New York, N.Y: Library of America, 1992. Print.

Kennedy, George A. The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Cambridge [England: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Print.

Reichl, Karl. Medieval Oral Literature. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012. Print.

Roland, Alan. Dreams and Drama: Psychoanalytic Criticism, Creativity and the Artist. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2003. Print.

Ryan, Michael. An Introduction to Criticism: Literature, Film, Culture. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Print.

Salager-Meyer, Françoise, and Beverly A. Lewin. Crossed Words: Criticism in Scholarly Writing. Bern: Peter Lang, 2011. Print.

Trudeau, Lawrence J. Nineteenth-century Literature Criticism: Volume 259. Detroit, Mich: Gale, 2012. Print.

Wright, Elizabeth. Psychoanalytic Criticism. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2013. Print.

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