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 Cathers 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. Pauls 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 doesnt 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 Pauls head. You really dont get a feel for Pauls 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 fathers 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. Pauls 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 Pauls case is better told in the written form. Pauls 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 Pauls 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 other.