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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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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