In Willa Cather’s story, “Paul’s Case,” Paul suffered setbacks and dilemmas because he never knew his mother as she died around the time of his birth. Therefore, he is lacking that maternal guidance of emotional stability that every child needs to grow mentally. Paul is withdrawn from society, and he resorts to the arts and music to feel comfortable and free from his disassociation and sense of loneliness. In ‘A Rose for Emily,” Miss Emily is limited from society for the majority of her life by her father, so after he has died, she longs for relations that ironically her longing destroys. The sadness and obsession radiated throughout the story portray the difficulty at hand.
While Paul lives in an ordinary active neighborhood, he does not really participate socially. For example, “on the last Sunday of November Paul sat all the afternoon on the lowest step of his stoop, staring into the street” (23). This represents lack of interest of his neighborhood. Paul is clearly out of place and isolated while, “the burghers of Cordelia Street always sat out on their front stoops and talked to their neighbors” (22). Paul does not want to comply to the lifestyle of Cordelia Street of which his father wants him to follow.
Miss Emily is first explained as a nice, sweet, and normal woman, though that all changed as her life went on. The death of her father was the flame that ignited all of this weirdness of Emily. After her father died, Miss Emily did not go out much probably because of grief over the loss of her father. “Because her father is the only man with whom she has had a close relationship, she denies his death and keeps his corpse in her house until she breaks down three days later when the doctors insist she let them take the body” (A1). This statement demonstrates her inability to let go of lost ones.
Paul was constantly compared to a young man “whom it was his father’s...