Paul's Case Questions and Answers
by Willa Cather

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What is Paul's behavior? Why is he acting this way?

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Paul despises his teachers at school. He is indifferent to their teaching and tries hard to make them aware of his disdain for them in "polite ways." For instance, he wears a "red carnation in his buttonhole" on the day that he attends the hearing of his disciplinary case. Through the carnation, he hopes to send the message that he is not bothered by his suspension from school and that he still is the "every day Paul." He is rude to his teachers and does not attend to his lessons well.

Paul hates common things. He has a "shuddering repulsion for the flavorless, colorless, mass of everyday existence." He likes "cool things and soft lights and fresh flowers." He particularly likes the arts—theater and music. He loves working as an usher at Carnegie Hall: it is here that he really comes to life. He is a “model usher,” for he loves to play host. He is to be seen running up and down his section of the concert hall, talking to visitors, passing on programs, and being the most helpful...

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