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Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament

Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament


by Willa Cather

Analysis: Tough-o-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(6) Tree Line

"Paul's Case" is short, but that doesn't mean it's easy. Cather's writing is full of elaborate sentences like, "had he not always been thus, had he not sat here night after night, from as far back as he could remember, looking pensively over just such shimmering textures and slowly twirling the stem of a glass like this one between his thumb and middle finger?" (2).

And then once you plow your way through those bad boys, there's the problem of never really quite knowing what's going on with Paul. It's an enigma wrapped up in a mystery—but that doesn't mean it's not worth it.

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