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Considering the events in "Paul's Case" and his situation, would a reader identify with...

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rackster1 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 30, 2007 at 6:49 AM via web

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Considering the events in "Paul's Case" and his situation, would a reader identify with Paul, or feel dread about his character?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 22, 2013 at 10:40 PM (Answer #3)

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A "Paul's Case" reader may identify greatly with Paul's situation if such reader has ever felt as a complete stranger, an alien even, in perfectly familiar surroundings.

If you think about it, Paul has lived in Cordelia St. his entire life, under the care of his father, attending the same school, and the things that he has seen, the words that he has heard from his neighbors, and even the conversations that go on in the community are entirely predictable to him.

It is arguable that even his job in the theatre is somewhat predictable, but he prefers the artificiality of the theatre, complete with the smell of paint and smoke, rather than the tacky and dingy atmosphere of boring Cordelia street.

Therefore, whoever has felt completely isolated from a familiar environment; whoever has ever wanted a specific type of life so desperately that he or she is more than willing to risk everything to get away from something that oppresses and makes him desperate  would certainly agree with Paul.

Remember the most important part of the story that defines Paul completely:

Perhaps it was because, in Paul's world, the natural nearly always wore the guise of ugliness, that a certain element of artificiality seemed to him necessary in beauty.

This is the description of the epitome of aestheticism. Paul completely fits the description of the typical aesthete.

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a-b | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted January 30, 2007 at 7:51 AM (Answer #1)

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It's hard to say, but most people would dread being in Paul's position-- he has been lying and lying, and now it's catching up to him. I think most people dread their lies being exposed.

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revolution | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted August 16, 2009 at 9:06 PM (Answer #2)

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Yes. I hate being in Paul's shoes as he keeps on lying and deceiving people on petty matters- no matter how big or small and I know that secrets can't be kept forever, they would be exposed eventually. I would be dead if I faced the situation as him as lying is tantamount to cheating and it is a serious offense. I also don't want to brush up with the long arms of the law or face any permanent arrest. Kudos to people who have the same experience as him as I hate being in his shoe.

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