“Paul’s Case” Critical Approaches New Critical: word choice, motifs, symbols Queer theory: gender non-conformity and possible homosexuality indicated by Cather’s choice of words to describe Paul, his actions, etc. The CODED text! Frustrated Romanticism: also indicated by motifs and word choice (also see Social Critique) Psychological Story originally subtitled “A Study in Temperament”; what is Paul a “case” study of? Delusions of grandeur Learning Disabilities Other mental/emotional illnesses Child abuse? see also: Queer theory Social Critique unfettered capitalism (c.f. Maggie): haves and have-nots (“Marxists critique”) society’s rejection of non-conformists; mechanized modern world esp. brutal the impracticality (even danger) of Romantic ideals in the Modern world also see queer theory (homophobia/heterosexism) Feminist Theory Rejection of the “feminine” (Tom Boy vs. “Jane Girl”) Triviality of the female’s role in society Overview of Realism/Naturalism the Gilded Age What has the American Dream metamorphosed into? What has happened to the concept of democracy vis-à-vis capitalism by the late 1800s? Realism vs Naturalism Maggie = Naturalism. Not just a “slice of life” but reality manipulated to show how human lives are at the mercy of environment and social circumstances. Details of life often grotesque, exaggerated. “Paul’s Case” = Realism. Paul can be seen as having some options, making some bad choices. Details of life are realistic, not grotesque.