Someone hand him a green carnation and call him an aesthete, because Paul is all about Art for Art's Sake. He's got a job as an usher at Carnegie (Music) Hall, he spends his free time studying art, and he hangs out at the local theater. Great, right? As far as after-school activities go, art is pretty mild. Only problem is, the more time Paul spends at the theater, the worse he feels about his grungy home—and the more worried his teachers and his dad become. Turns out, they're right to worry. In "Paul's Case," art and music are just as likely to lead you down the wrong path as any other teenage rebellion.
"Paul's Case" makes a case for the importance of art and music education in schools.
Cather would agree that music and art are fundamentally problematic when used as escapes from our problems.