In Willa Cather's tragic short story, "Paul's Case," Paul's driving desires for the life of the aesthetic over his banal life are directly responsible for his internal conflicts. And, it is these internal conflicts that drive his disengagement from reality that lead to his eventual destruction.
Paul's dissastifaction with his life is apparent in his acts of repulsion for his teachers, while at the same time the inscrutableness or his smile that the drawing master describes as "something sort of haunted about it" cause him problems. For, Paul is only happy when he is able to lose himself in art. When, for instance, he works as an usher at Carnie Hall, he is delighted.
When the symphony began, Paul sank into one of the rear seats with a long sigh of relief, and lost himself as he had done before the Rico. It was not that symphonies, as such, meant anything...
(The entire section contains 464 words.)