As Paul enters the faculty room, he tries to deceive the teachers by dressing up for the interrogation just as criminals dress for trial. His clothes were a "trifle outgrown, his overcoat was frayed and worn," which shows that the suit does not fit him. He symbolizes a past life which he still holds on to. He entered the room "suave and smiling" showing that Paul thinks he looks good in his outfit. The opal pin and the red carnation are Paul's attempts increase his attractiveness and classiness. They distract the teachers from the imperfections on his jacket, which symbolizes the aspect that Paul hates about himself. Throughout the story, Paul is trying to cover up who he really is by lying to his dad, teachers, and the rest of world. Paul thinks lying is "indispensable for overcoming friction." When Paul goes to New York, he feels relieved that he no longer has to lie to anyone because he... [continues]
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