The protagonist is Paul. The story is directed and revealed through his eyes and experiences. It is his uber-sensitivity that makes the events come so dramatically alive. We feel for him. We root for him. We want him to find happiness, even if it is in death. He represents rational hope, a sense of fairness in the world, and earned honor. In a failed quest for identity, he chronicles a painful transition from hopeful to hopeless, naiveté to experience, and human feeler to animalistic automaton.