Paul’s Case Critical Paper

Colors can symbolize an array of different feelings. In this case the story refers to several colors, which symbolize his frustrations, feelings and desires.

In ‘Paul’s Case’ yellow refers to the ugliness, lies and fears in his life, blue indicates his dream world, red represents his desire to see himself differently, and purple pulses with luxury, royalty and prosperity in Paul’s new life. The first color that stands out the most is yellow because it refers to the ugliness, lies and fears in Paul’s life.

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Yellow symbolizes the ugliness, lies, and fears throughout Paul’s lifespan in the story. First of all, yellow makes Paul think of his house and how much he truly does repulse it. He never likes arriving in his room with his “horrible yellow wallpaper” (248).

He response as though he is appalled by “the sight of it all; his ugly sleeping chamber; the cold bathroom with the grimy zinc tub, the cracked mirror, the dripping spigots” (249).

Another yellow flash in Paul’s list of personality flaws is his lack of integrity, brought on by his chronic lying: “Paul was quite accustomed to lying; found it, indeed dispensable for overcoming friction” (244). On the other hand, Paul “never lied for pleasure…but to be noticed and admired, to assert his difference” (258). Basically he only lies to impress his peers, to escape to and from the theater, and to flee to New York. All in all yellow makes Paul feel frustrated and hopeless about anything in his life changing for the better.

Paul is able to advance in his day to day life by his memorization with the color blue.

When he sees the color blue throughout the story he drifts into his dream world where everything goes the way he wants it to. Art always seem to capture Paul and it then it lets him replace his real life into his deepest desires. One example is when he becomes overjoyed by “Raffelli’s gay studies of Paris streets and an airy blue Venetian scene” (246). Another example is when he sits down before a “blue Rico” and loses himself (246).

I feel as though Paul’s desire behind all of his actions is “to be carried out, blue league after blue league, away from everything,” to float on the cloud of the accomplished and feel how its magic changes his world (252).

Blue designates Paul’s dream world and allows him to reveal it in snobbish lifestyles of his choosing. The last color that lets Paul be who he wants to be is red. It represents his desire to see himself differently in his own reality and in his dream world. He wants to be strong yet confident but always in control.

In his own reality he wears a “scandalous red carnation”(). Paul portrays his disrespectful, overconfidence and rebelliousness to a society with middle-class values, so that he can declare his independence from them.

For example he is proud to purchase a new “red robe” while in New York because it enables him to express his boldness in a daring way (254). Another example is when he talks about the “red velvet carpet laid from the door to the street” for him to walk up and down, proclaiming his freedom at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City (256).

Red not only offers Paul bravery but also is a frequent memento of his own power of preferences as he prepares for his striking finish. Purple pulses with luxury, royalty and prosperity in the new life Paul is indulging in since he moved to New York. While being encircled with all the fine-looking people, bright flowers and champagne, Paul “felt now that his surroundings explained him. Nobody questioned the purple; he had only to wear it passively” (256).

He felt as though no one should even think about questioning him because of the purple that he had been flaunting.

Paul was now soaring among those who he thought was worthy of his presence, the dominant and significant, also those of style and prosperity: “The lights, the chatter, the perfumes, the bewildering medley of color . . . these were his own people” (254). Paul feels comfortable in the orb of purple which is protecting him from the devastation of his real home on Cordelia Street.

He now can accept his new role of decency, which carries an exclusive sense of meaning, power and authority. Colors do more than just describe words in stories; they tell their own story between the lines of just being an adjective.

In Paul’s Case the colors were more than just a plan reality color they stood for much more. Yellow was used to show his true ugliness, to explain the lies and tell a more in-depth story of his fears. Blue was considered to show how art can really take one’s soul and set it free in another reality that is far from being normal.

Last but not least was red which explained his true desires to be someone he’s not. Colors are an endless story that lasted within his imagination right until he died.