Cather uses the flowers as symbols in "Paul's Case". Explain the symbolism of the flowers in the following instances: The red carnation in Paul’s lapel when he appears before the faculty. When Paul approaches his house at night and thinks about flowers. When Paul sees the flowers blooming behind the glass. When Paul’s carnation droop because of the cold.

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It is also significant that the flowers represent artificiality:  the flowers Paul sees as he rides through New York are growing under glass, in an artificial environment.  Paul tends to find natural things (or flowers in their natural state) ugly and observes that "the natural nearly always wore the guise of ugliness." This is significant because Paul can't love himself as he is.  Rather, he loves and nurtures the artificial illusion of himself that he creates.

The flower in Paul's lapel is his attempt to be something he is not--to appear flippant and "better than" his teachers, to show that he doesn't care about being disciplined. ...

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