Money is a powerful thing, but allowing it to take control of your life, how you feel and what you do with it can end in terrible consequences. The economic theory states that all human endeavors are driven by money/desire for power or position. The use of the economic theory can be helpful to better understand “Paul’s Case”, by Willa Cather.
The economic theory is can be used to better understand this story by the way Paul has a desire for the nicer things.
When learning that the theory has to do with how money can make people feel a certain way, it makes you think about how that was used in Paul’s Case. “His clothes were a trifle outgrown, and the tan velvet on the collar of his open overcoat was frayed and worn; but, for all that, there was something of the dandy about him, and he wore an opal pin in his neatly knotted black four-in-hand, and a red carnation in his buttonhole.
” (Cather 74) This quote explains that Paul cared a lot about how he looked, and how people saw him, but his dad felt the opposite and did not find that buying new clothes was a priority. The economic theory used by the author was to help understand why Paul and his dad were different when it came to money. Money to them had different uses, one found it to be used more practical and the other was the desire to a better lifestyle.
The economic theory helps us better understand the life and surroundings of Paul. “On seasonable Sunday afternoons the burghers of Cordelia Street always sat out on their front ‘stoops,’.” (Cather 77) This term written from Cather is to show the neighborhood of Paul and how he sees it. The term has to do with the economic theory and it helps you understand how Paul sees the life around him. Although the neighborhood is not as bad as he says, it can be tied back to money and how Paul believes that you should not have to work all the time and if you are wealthy everything you want, mostly the finer things, silk, clothes, etc. should fall into place. This is used to suggest that Paul may want the freedom that comes with money but not that you have to work to get it all.
Another way the economic theory can be used to better understand this story was the way of Paul’s internal self, had unrealistic outlooks on the true meaning of money, his social class and how those had an effect on him. “He would show himself that he was game, he would finish the thing splendidly. He doubted, more than ever, the existence of Cordelia Street, and for the first time he drank his wine recklessly. Was he not, after all, one of those fortunate beings born to the purple, was he not still himself and in his own place? He drummed a nervous accompaniment to the Pagliacci music and looked about him, telling himself over and over that it had paid.” (Cather 82) This quote talking about Paul and his feeling of being switched social classes when he was younger expressed the economic theory by stating that money causes one to feel a certain way about their self. In Paul’s case he was unable to grasp reality, and it, in the end, made him have an overall unrealistic sense of mind. The economic theory in the story here helps better understand the meaning of Paul and the outlook he had in life. The theory of money helps creates a stronger meaning of Paul, stating it can have such an impact on one and that you must be realistic outlook in life to achieve adulthood, which is something Paul lacked.
By the end of the story, the economic theory could have been the downfall of Paul himself and what happened as he was dying. Since the economic theory is about how money can be a culprit, it can be used to show how Paul was spiraling downhill towards the end of the story along with why he chose to end the way that he did. “When the right moment came, he jumped. As he fell, the folly of his haste occurred to him with merciless clearness, the vastness of what he had left undone. There flashed through his brain, clearer than ever before, the blue of Adriatic water, the yellow of Algerian sands.” (Cather 83) When Paul was jumping off the cliff and directly in front of the train he reflected on how he should’ve done more in regards of his unrealistic life, it was not a change of mind but more of regret. The economic theory idea supports this quote because Paul could not overcome the differences of his social-economical class and the overall sense of his unrealistic life. He cared so much about the finer things money can bring and money itself that it eventually created such an impact and influenced his life so strongly that he decided he would rather die than face his reality.
“Paul’s Case” is a great example of how money can control one’s life. The use of the economic theory throughout this story helps better understand “Paul’s Case” as a whole. It helps us understand about Paul’s internal self, his dad, the life around him and why he ends the way he did. Money has the effect of desire and the feeling of power and wealth. Letting it take over your life can end in devastating consequences like Paul encountered. Willa Cather having a great use of the economic theory in her story supported her main idea of the idealism of money and how you must be practical with it to have a realistic outlook in life.
Cite this Money/Desire for Power or Position
Money/Desire for Power or Position. (2021, May 22). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/money-desire-for-power-or-position/