Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament
by Willa Cather
Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Part.Paragraph)
His clothes were a trifle outgrown and the tan velvet on the collar of his open overcoat was frayed and worn; but for all that there was something of the dandy about him, and he wore an opal pin in his neatly knotted black four-in-hand, and a red carnation in his buttonhole. (1.1)
If you can read this without a single tear in your eye, congratulations on your cold, dead heart. The neatly tied tie, opal pin, and carnation—details that show Paul cares a lot about his appearance—contrast with the fact that his clothes are worn-out and too small. Paul's father probably has money to buy Paul better clothes (we learn that he's not poor), but obviously doesn't think it's a priority.
[H]is father, on principle, did not like to hear requests for money, whether much or little. […] He was not a poor man, but he had a worthy ambition to come up in the world. His only reason for allowing Paul to usher was, that he thought a boy ought to be earning a little. (1.26)
Look, something Paul and his father can bond over: money. Paul's father loves money just as much as Paul does, but for practical reasons.
He spent upward of two hours there, buying with endless reconsidering and great care. His new street suit he put on in the fitting-room; the frock-coat and dress-clothes he had bundled into the cab with his linen. Then he drove to a hatter's and a shoe house. His next errand was at Tiffany's, where he selected his silver and a new scarf-pin. (2.39)
This is like the millionaire's edition of What Not to Wear. Out with the too-small, faded clothes, and in with the frock coat and silk boxers.