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Paul's Case Essay

581 words - 3 pages

In this essay I plan to compare and contrast two different characters. I will combine Arnold Friend from, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been, by Joyce Carol Oates, to Paul from "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather. Although each character has a distinctly different personality they are alike in as many ways as they are different. Paul is a very calm, mild mannered individual who does not put his problems upon anyone else. Paul hides from his problems in imagining that he is someone else in a different place. Paul finds comfort at Carnegie Hall listening to music, and watching a higher class of society. Instead of dealing with the problems that he has in life, Paul decides to take the easy way out and kill himself.Arnold, on the other ...view middle of the document...

Paul therefore has no choice but to keep all of his thoughts to himself. Paul makes generalizations about society and how he would like to be something that he is not instead of enjoying what he is. Paul seems to think that a person's happiness depends solely on how many material items a person has. Paul would define a "fine person" (page 360) as one with wealth. Paul steals to compensate for his lack of companionship. Ultimately, he ends up killing himself because he realizes that he will never be what he wants to be. Arnold Friend is also lacking companionship in his life. Arnold is lacking female companionship and finds it important to fulfill his need. Arnold finds it necessary to pick up a girl against her will. Instead of respecting her, he demonstrates his self-centered attitude and puts his wants before someone else's, not caring who he hurts. Arnold's actions show exactly how much he is lacking companionship in his life and how much he needs it. Arnold abducts a girl to fill his lack of companionship. Arnold, on the other hand, makes bold gestures meaning he does not hold anything back, he says anything that crosses his mind. Arnold cares only about himself and would put his status in front of anyone else any time. Arnold enjoys stalking girls and making them feel uneasy. He is a coward who preys upon people who are weaker than himself. The statements above are generalized from my opinions, which I acquired while reading the two stories, they are not necessary correct, or incorrect depending on the reader's own opinions. I found it very interesting that two characters so different in personality can have similar traits as well. I think that both characters have unique problems that acquire attention.

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