Willa Cather ‘s literary calling started when she entered the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1891. Although she was originally set on analyzing scientific discipline, she decided to rethink her calling programs after her professor submitted one of her documents to the school newspaper. She became a telegraph editor, play critic, and besides submitted book reappraisal ; her journalistic calling was now in full swing ( Merriman ) . At first, Cather ‘s novels, such as Alexander ‘s Bridge, were to a great extent influenced by her esteem for the manner of Henry James. Later, nevertheless, fellow novelist, Sarah Orne Jewett, advised her to trust less on the manner of Henry James and concentrate more on her ain manner and experiences. Cather ‘s plants became popular every bit good as critical successes. Critics loved her plainspoken composing about ordinary people. However, in the 1930s, Cather was openly attacked for her deficiency of involvement in economic sciences and her conservative political relations ( Scott ) . The negative unfavorable judgment caused her to go recluse and burn letters. She refused to allow anyone print her letters in fright of harsher unfavorable judgment.
The subject, disaffection, is the province of being withdrawn or isolated from the nonsubjective universe through indifference or distancing. “ It was chilly outside, and he decided to travel up into the image gallery-always deserted at this houraˆ¦ He was delighted to happen no 1 in the galleryaˆ¦ ” ( Cather 296 ) . Paul wanted to see the image gallery at this hr because he knew no 1 would be at that place. He was happy that no 1 was in the gallery because he does non wish to interact with people. “ aˆ¦his English instructor had stepped to his side and attempted to steer his manus. Paul had started back with a frisson and thrust his custodies violently behind him ” ( Cather 294 ) . Paul dislikes his instructors at school and reacts violently to their aid, showcasing his disaffection towards them. In “ Paul ‘s Case, ” symbolism, prefiguration, and struggle are three literary elements recognizable throughout the piece.
Symbols are something that means more than what they are. “ His instructors felt this afternoon that his whole attitude was symbolized by his shrug and his airily ruddy clove pink floweraˆ¦ His bow was like a repeat of the disgraceful ruddy clove pink ” ( Cather 294-295 ) . The ruddy clove pink is a symbolic representation of Paul ‘s personality and attitude. It symbolizes Paul ‘s rebellious and mercenary attitude every bit good as his desire to be strong, confident, and in control ( Carpenter-Houde ) . “ The snow ballad heavy on the roadways and had drifted deep in the unfastened Fieldss. Merely here and at that place the dead grass or dried weed chaffs projected, singularly black, above it ” ( Cather 316 ) . The scene indicates a cold winter, which has been used throughout literature to typify decease. The black grass and dried weeds are deceasing and besides predict Paul ‘s self-destruction. As Paul rides out of town, the black, dead weeds lodging up through the snow in the passing Fieldss mean his nearing decease ( Carpenter-Houde ) .
Boding is the usage of intimations or hints to propose events which may happen subsequently in the narrative. “ The clove pinks in his coat were saging with the cold, he noticed ; all their ruddy glorification gone ” ( Cather 316 ) . The clove pinks symbolized how he wanted to populate, and with them shriveling, so make his hopes and dreams. The line “ all their ruddy glorification gone ” intimations that Paul ‘s ain glorification is besides stoping. Paul takes a profound glance into his psyche when he notices that his brave jeer against society fails to do a lasting alteration in his life ( Carpenter-Houde ) . The deceasing clove pinks bode his self-destruction. “ Suppose his male parent had heard him acquiring in at the window and had come down and changeable him for a burglar? aˆ¦ Then, once more, say a twenty-four hours should come when his male parent would retrieve that dark, and wish there had been no warning call to remain his manus? With this last guess Paul entertained himself until dawn ” ( Cather 301 ) . Paul has thought about his decease before. The fact that this idea is entertaining to him reveals that decease is a fiddling affair and foreshadows his speedy determination of self-destruction.
A struggle is a job or quandary felt by one or more of the characters. “ He was awfully afraid of rats, so he did non seek to kip, but sat looking mistrustfully at the dark, still terrified lest he might hold awakened his male parent ” ( Cather 300 ) . Paul would instead remain up all dark, cold and moisture from rain, in a basement full of rats than face his male parent. Paul ‘s relationship with his male parent ne’er gets any better throughout the narrative. “ The consequence of the affair was that the Principal went to Paul ‘s male parent, and Paul was taken out of school and set to work. The director at Carnegie Hall was told to acquire another Ussher in his position ; the usher at the theatre was warned non to acknowledge him to the house ; and Charley Edwards ruefully promised the male child ‘s male parent non to see him once more ” ( Cather 306 ) . Because of Paul ‘s attitude toward life, he is taken out of school and forced out of his dream occupation of showing and forced into a occupation at a company as an errand male child. He is non even allowed near his favourite theatre or Charley Edwards, a immature histrion whom Paul had spent every available minute with. These events lead to Paul ‘s determination to run off and finally, his determination to kill himself.