At the turn of the 20th century, when Willa Cather published “Paul’s Case,” there were fewer resources available to parents whose children were not fitting in at their school. Paul’s father decided to remove his son from school completely. Most likely, he assumed that Paul would adapt to his new environment and responsibilities. Instead, Paul rebelled more strongly against work than he had against school and left home.
Even without access to counselors and psychologists, Paul’s father could have consulted other professionals, such as a pastor, priest, or other family members. He might have talked with the staff at the theater to gain more perspective into Paul’s work there. Rather than pull Paul out of school, he could have hired a tutor to work with him individually or transferred him to a different school. More than anything, opening the lines of communication would probably have benefited both father and son.