Escape From The Dread Of The Future In "The Defeated" And Willa Cather's "Paul Case" By Nadine Gordimer.

801 words - 3 pages

Both Nadine Gordimer's "The Defeated" and Willa Cather's "Paul Case" are about characters who dread the life they see around them. Fearing this outcome, they strive desperately to put as much space as possible between their present circumstances and their future dreams.Miriam and Paul use similar defense mechanisms to deal with the realities in which they live. This mechanism is denial. On her birthday, instead of having a party in her lowly home, Miriam takes her friends to a movie. The movie is symbolic of the escape from reality that Miriam most desires. There is a passage in "The Defeated" which reveals how the young Miriam leads her life in the lower class among Concession stores. Miriam is "like someone sitting in a swarm of ants; and letting them swarm, letting them crawl all over and about her. Not lifting a hand to flick them off. Not crying out against them in disgust; nor explaining, saying well I like ants. Just sitting there and letting them swarm, and looking out of herself as if to say: What ants? What ants are you talking about?" (485) This is a perfect metaphor for living a life of denial.Paul, too, leads a life of denial. This is most obvious in the opening school interrogation sequence. His sporting a red carnation, acting suave and carefree, lying to his teachers so they will hear what he thinks they want to hear is all ingrained in his overall need to deny his current station in life. Paul loves the artificial and is playing a part, denying the reality of the situation.During certain portions of their stories, both Miriam and Paul get glimpses into the kind of life they do want to live. Miriam visits the narrator's home and while there she shows no marked interest in the niceties and prettiness of it--though it is clear she notices them--but a week later the narrator hears Miriam going on and on about the presents that her friend had received. Later, when she grows up and goes off to college, Miriam begins hanging around with the Jewish medical students, who we can assume lead a more affluent life than that to which Miriam is accustomed.For Paul, this noticing of the life that is out there and separate from his own is especially apparent during the scene when he follows the...

Find Another Essay On Escape From the Dread of the Future in "The Defeated" and Willa Cather's "Paul Case" by Nadine Gordimer.

"My Son's Story" By Nadine Gordimer: Themes and issues in the novel (when private "affairs" become public)

2276 words - 9 pages his release they become intimate. This love affair is treated by Ms. Gordimer in her regular authorial presence with great tenderness, compassion, good will. Indeed, much of the novel's power and interest derive from her almost uncanny ability to portray each of the novel's characters with sympathy and subtlety. Sonny's gentle goodness, his immense personal dignity, his courage are emblematic of the best we have come to know over the past

Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop

794 words - 3 pages Heritage Dictionary describes the term. DCA doesn't seem to be driven by a plot so much as by the stream of consciousness of the narrator. Much the way the mind will jump from thought to thought or memory to memory, Cather's narrator tells the story of Bishop Latour's life through contrasting, non-chronological stories. For example, in Chapter 1, Book 4, the narrator has Latour waking to the sound of a bell which then leads Fathers Latour and

Irony and Symbolism in Willa Cather's Paul's Case

1793 words - 7 pages Irony and Symbolism in Willa Cather's Paul's Case  "Paul's Case," by Willa Cather, is a story that deals with a young boy who does not feel that he lives a life befitting of him. Upon a close reading, it is evident that "Paul's Case" is ruled by irony and symbolism, which are apparent in the story through the words of the narrator. The irony woven throughout the text builds up to an epiphonic moment, a main paradox in the story, which

The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill

789 words - 4 pages into the woods and escape before the Germans discover and stop the breakout. The next morning brings a search party for the missing men, many of whom look just like civilians and quietly board the train as it pulls into the station. Others escape by boat, bicycle, and two even steal a small plane from a nearby airbase. One escape differs from the actual account and that is Hilt’s (McQueen). In the movie, Captain Hilts steals a German soldier’s

RESISTANCE AND COUNTER-RESISTANCE IN "MY SON'S STORY" BY NADINE GORDIMER

1697 words - 7 pages MY SON'S STORY RESISTANCE AND COUNTER-RESISTANCE IN "MY SON'S STORY" BY NADINE GORDIMER. 
My Son's Story is a novel set in apartheid South Africa at a point time when black Africans and coloreds just begin to resist the cruel and unjust system. The writer constantly addresses the central theme of resistance and mentions the many forms in which resistance to apartheid took place. The efforts of the authorities to contain the resistance are

The Fallen Archangel: Defeated by Pride and Revenge - Analysis of Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost

828 words - 3 pages his pride keeps him from turning back to Heaven. He states, "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven" (1, 263). He is blinded by his conceit to his mistake, and pride becomes one of his greatest shortcomings as he doesn't realize his place in the universe. Satan later becomes obsessed with the idea of trying to "grieve" God by creating mischief and misfortune in God's new created world of mankind. The readers feel pity and sympathy for Satan

"Africa Emergent" by Nadine Gordimer

554 words - 2 pages Some hundred years ago, the oppressed broke away from the oppressor. They fought for the freedoms that we have today. Through different movements such as Black power, Black pride, and Black is beautiful, we've come to see the true power that we hold as individuals and a group. When the oppressed secedes from the oppressor, they must free themselves of oppression. Nadine Gordimer explores the theme of defying oppression through the use of

July’s People by Nadine Gordimer

2193 words - 9 pages "July’s People" by Nadine Gordimer In July’s People, Nadine Gordimer gives a very detailed and knowledgeable explanation of the political turmoil within South Africa. By expressing the emotions of a family involved in the deteriorating situation and the misunderstandings between blacks and whites, she adds a very personal and emotional touch, which allows the reader to understand the true horror and terror these people experienced

Gender Roles and Marriage in The Proposal by Chekhov and Country Lovers by Gordimer

2650 words - 11 pages In the following essay I will compare and contrast gender roles and marriage between “The Proposal” by Anton Chekhov and “Country Lovers” by Nadine Gordimer to showing how women tried to survive in controlling their identity. This essay will compare and contrast each of the characters used by two very different writers. The early 1900’s era was not kind to people in their struggle for what they tried to accomplish with their lives. Nadine

Escape from Reality in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

918 words - 4 pages Escape from Reality in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams The Characters' Escape From Reality in The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams centers around a dream of escape. Although everyone wants to escape from a different reality, they all feel that need to get away. The father is the most successful in his escape because he never has to deal with anything at home. He actually leaves and doesn't look back. As for

The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Paul’s Case by Willa Cather, and Daisy Miller by Henry James

1493 words - 6 pages , another illustration of premature death is demonstrated in the short story, “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather. At length, the narrative follows a high school student, Paul. Paul is suspended from his school and is weary of his lackluster middle-class life. Subsequently, he steals $1000 from his current employer and absconds to New York City. At this juncture, Paul reconnoiters the metropolis, only to find that his larceny has become public and that his

Similar Essays

Willa Cather's Paul?S Case: A Study In Temperament

1770 words - 7 pages . Narcissism is the only diagnosis that can explain all of Paul‟s attitudes and behaviors, and that is why it is the disorder that he must be suffering from. Works Cited Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV. Arlington, VA.: American Psychiatric Association, 2007. Print. Larry Rubin. "The Homosexual Motif in Willa Cather's "Paul's Case"" Studies in Short Fiction (1975): 127-31. Print. Perkins, Barbara, Robyn Warhol-Down, and George B. Perkins. "Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament." Women's Work: an Anthology of American Literature. New York: McGrawHill, 1994. Print.

Willa Cather's Paul's Case And Maupassant's The Necklace

1910 words - 8 pages most. For the purposes of this paper I have chosen to write on Paul from Willa Cather's short story "Paul's Case" and Mathilde in "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant. I found that both of these characters complimented each other very nicely for this assignment, both wish to get a taste of lives they know they cannot have and in the end suffer for the thrill of it. Through the words of the authors we can see how miserable both characters are

Importance Of The Past In Willa Cather's My Antonia

685 words - 3 pages The Importance of the Past in Willa Cather's My Antonia   In My Antonia, Willa Cather emphasizes the importance of the past through Jum Burden's narration. Jim Burden realizes at the conclusion of the novel how much he enjoyed his childhood days and how much his memories mean to him. There are three events that Cather included in the novel which contribute greatly to the overall theme, concerning the importance of the past. One event

A Comparison Of The Gift Of The Magi, By O. Henry And Country Lovers, By Nadine Gordimer

2519 words - 10 pages The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast two stories. I have chosen The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry and Country Lovers, by Nadine Gordimer to accomplish this assignment. My intentions are to compare the author’s writing style, their differences in setting and theme, and note similarities as well. I will focus this paper on not only technical aspects of the author’s writing style, but their use of symbolism in their writing as well