Questions for “Paul’s Case”

We are going to be reading this story from a number of angles this week. As you read (and re-read) the story, keep the following in mind:

1) Who is Paul? What are the difficulties he faces versus what advantages does he have? Does he fit in with his surroundings? Why/why not?

2) Paul has a good deal of disdain for Cordelia St and the way of life it represents. Why? Is he at all justified?

3) Reflect in the end of the story. What does is say about the structures of the society Paul lives in that the story ends this way? Was there any hope for a different outcome? Why/why not?

4) Think about the story in terms of gender/sexuality. Are there any hints that the story may not be about a young man who is simply disillusioned?

5) Think about the story in terms of economic class. Does Paul  want things that members of his class are simply not entitled to or cannot have? Now think about your answer: why might such a situation be problematic? Why would/should art be the prerogative of the few and not the many? Remember that you are reading this text in a literature course in 2014: are you the few, the many, or some of both?

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