’s Case Essay, Research Paper Hello to all of you, my name is Paul. It seems that much has been said of me and I, for one would like for you to know the true story, as I see it.

’s Case Essay, Research Paper

Hello to all of you, my name is Paul. It seems that much has been said of me and

I, for one would like for you to know the true story, as I see it.

There is nothing more beautiful than music, that is a fact that has helped me

throughout all of my life. “The first sigh of the instruments” can feel to me like a

thousand wonderful days all wrapped into that one moment. There are not many

who understand the pull of the stage and of the arts to a person like me, not my

teachers, and certainly not my father. There was a man, though, who seemed to

understand my plight. His name is Charley Edwards, an actor at Carnagie Hall,

whom I have seen perform many times, and who I consider to be a close, personal

friend. But even he could not grasp the luck of life which he had.

In order for you to understand a little more about the truths of the arts, let me

tell you what makes me love them so. Growing up among the “ugliness and

commonness” of Cordelia Street was very difficult for me, not only because of my

father and the loathing I had for him, but because of the “flavorless, colorless mass

of everday living” there. I never belonged there. I dreamed of the day when I could

sit for hours upon hours and just listen to the orchestras, wearing purple and

looking at flowers. You see these beautiful things that belonged in my life were

totally absent as long as I was anywhere near Cordelia Street in Pittsburgh.

Have I told you yet about the beauty of red carnations? No, I guess I haven’t. I

wore one the day I had to try to get back into school. The day my teachers

attempted to determine what was the matter with me, and why I was defiant in

their eyes. I still to this day believe that it wasn’t so much that I did not like

school, because the importance of schooling has always been quite obvious. I do,

on the other hand, believe that in their attempts to control my thoughts and make

me conform, they lost my respect. Learning about this or that, can be very

engaging to some, but not to me. I would rather whistle Faust or look at a Rico. I

suppose that the usher job that I had at Carnegie Hall helped keep me alive

through those days. Being around the energy that comes from the music can have

that effect.

The day I left school was at first very difficult for me, since I also had to quit my

usher job at the hall. My father decided that he had had enough of my insolence

when I decided while at school one day that I had no time for theorems, as I had

more important matters to deal with at the hall. He immediately took me out of

school, made me quit the hall and put me to work for Denny and Carson. I worked

there for some time and became a trusted employee, even having the responsibility

of taking the week’s payroll given to me. One weekend, knowing that the ledger

was to be taken in to be balanced with the payroll deposit drop-off, I asked for

Saturday after off. Before I did my weekly task of dropping of the payroll deposit

however, took the nearly thousand dollars and wrote a new deposit slip. After that,

I simply boarded the night train to New York. I had imagined entry into New York

a thousand times, to be in that kind of atmosphere. There were so many more

beautiful things to see and do and feel here. “How astonishingly easy it had been.”

First, I bought a new suit and put it on, leaving my newly purchased frock coat

and dress clothes in the cab. Then I went to a hatter’s and a shoe house, followed

by Tiffany’s where I bought a silver and a new scarf pin. Then I bought traveling

bags to properly store all of it. From there it was on to the Waldorf, paying in

advance for a sleeping room, a sitting room and a bath. Once in the sitting room,

however, there was one detail I had dreamed of that wasn’t there, so I rang for the

bellboy and had flowers brought up. After “such a strain,” I settled into a nice hot


I went for a ride through the park and saw how beautiful the flowers looked cast

against the snow, then came back for dinner with the orchestra. My, what a lovely

night that was, as I sat back, drinking my champagne, listening to the beautiful

music among all of the beautiful people, not feeling at all out of place in my purple.

“This is what all the world was fighting for…this is what the struggle was all about,”

I thought. At that moment, I wasn’t sure I had ever heard of Cordelia Street, let

alone lived there among the ugliness. I felt like this was what I was born for,

having the money to enjoy the finer things of life. I truly enjoyed them.

After eight days of drinking, music, and socializing with some of the finest

people I had ever met, the Pittsburgh papers revealed that I had been found out.

My father had repaid the money I stole and was on his way to retrieve me and

torment me in some or many ways, I’m sure of it. I “had not a hundred dollars left

and knew now, more than ever, that money was everything.” The power and

freedom that I had enjoyed for what seemed like a lifetime now, was running out

along with my money. But I had looked fear in the face and won. I decided before

I took this adventure that I wasn’t going back. Last night I even bought a pistol,

and not very long ago thought of using the ugly thing to end my life. Instead I got

on the train to Newark, then took a cab for a ways toward Pennsylvania. I laid

down for a short nap and was awakened just in time to finish my dream, on my


I don’t remember the train hitting me, just the feeling of getting punched in the

chest, flying through the air, and my limbs going numb. At that moment though,

right before the darkness swallowed me, I knew I had lived, if only for a little while,

I had really lived.

Paul’s Case by Willa Cather