Paul\'s Case By Willa Cather

It is said that books are better then the movies created from books. I feel that
the story and the film complement each other for Willa Catherís short story,

"Paul\'s Case," is about a young, Calvinist man who did not feel that he
belonged in his life. He lived on Cordelia Street in Pittsburgh, PA. Cordelia

Street was littered with cookie cutter houses, suburbanite-like city-dwellers,
and a general aura of despair. Paul\'s room was no different. Paul felt that his
abusive father, uncaring teachers, and classmates who misunderstand him aren\'t
worthy of his presence and company. Paul is so infatuated with living the life
of a performer that it leads him to thievery. Paulís only joy comes from his
love for the arts. He is an usher in a concert hall, and spends most of his time
behind the scenes in a theatre helping the actors. He longs to live the life of
a rich person but doesnít seem to realize that he must work for it. Both the
film and the short story emphasize these characteristics within the main
character, and after seeing the movie, the reader gets a better idea of the
emotions that are running through Paulís head. You really donít get a feel
for Paulís character until you see the expression on his face while watching a
play be performed, his face changing with the music and the joyfulness he feels
when the drama is complete This sort of fantasy world he wishes to lives in soon
becomes a reality for him. After being fired from his position at the concert
hall, and being expelled from school, Paul is given a job by one of his
fatherís friends. Paul was sent to the bank with server thousands of dollars
to make a deposit. The movie tells that he just took it all and went home. Where
in the book, he actually went back to work; finished his shift asked for

Saturday off and then went home. The next day Paul took the train into New York.

Paul had always spoken of New York and he dreamed of going there. Now he had his
chance. When Paul was in the city, he lived like a rich person; He slept at the
finest hotels, ate the best foods and spent money like it was no object. After
living like a king for more than a week Paul discovered the entire affair
exploited in the Pittsburgh papers, the papers also spoke of a rumor that he was
seen in a New York Hotel. He knew his father would come looking for him.

Confused and scared, Paul panicked. During the file, this portion of the story
gives the viewer some confusion as to what is going on. Paulís believes he
sees his father in the lobby of the hotel room, without reading the book, the
viewer would have no idea that the person asking questions was, to Paul, his
father. The Ending to Paulís case is better told in the written form. Paulís
character is better understandable at this point and you beguine to feel what he
is going through. As he nears the train, all of his emotions, his fears, and
thoughts become very understandable. And even as he partakes in his owe
destruction the reader is given his every feeling, right up to the end. With so
much going on in this story, it is some times hard to understand it all that is
why the movie is an excellent tool to help comprehending Paulís case. Without
having reading the book, the movie would have made little sense and the viewer
would become lost. This is why both, the movie and the book, complement each