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Word Count: 1,131
When the average person reads Pauls Case by Willa Cather they interpret a story about a depressed teenager who steals money runs away to New York City and commits suicide On the surface there is little reasoning behind Pauls decisions The reader cannot fully understand Pauls motivation until the story is considered on a deeper level Upon further observation Cather creates numerous references to flowers within Pauls mundane life This was not done carelessly--the flowers represent Paul Pauls struggles ambitions and death can all be traced back to the symbolism of flowers In the opening scene of the story Paul is being kicked out of school He appears before his teachers to debate his suspension His clothes were a trifle outgrown and the tan velvet on the collar of his open overcoat was frayed and worn 1 but in contrast he wore a red carnation in his buttonhole Flowers are a symbol of status but Paul is a mere boy on the verge of suspension His teachers see this flower and are thrown off-guard The red carnation was worn in defiance of his teachers Just as the flower can exist in any setting Paul can exist with or without the approval of his teachers He doesnt need his teachers approval to be successful In this instance his flower got his point across Everywhere Paul goes he notices flowers from the red-glass pitcher ornamented with blue forget-me-nots in blue enamel 23 to the violet water from the bottle he kept hidden in his drawer 27 to his desire for soft lights and fresh flowers 19 When writing this story Cather could have described any design on the lemonade pitcher but intentionally decorated it with forget-me-nots Flowers are a part of Pauls life just as a favorite color or song would in anyone elses Flowers play an integral role in the story Paul is a true romanticist Wherever he is he looks for and appreciates beauty Unfortunately
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