Paul's Case Irony

Paul's Case Irony


The school staff got a chance to pay Paul for his inability to hide his dislike for them back. In fact, they had waited for that day too long to waste a chance like that. The boy was standing in front of them, smiling sheepishly, as if he didn’t know what to say or how to defend himself from their numerous accusations. He despised them and they hated him in return. The irony was that the teachers behaved like “tormentors.” Their anger left them “dissatisfied and unhappy; humiliated.” It seemed that the “mere boy” managed to evoke the worst in them. They were not supposed to lose control. If they are capable of cruelty, then who are they to judge?


When Paul jumped, “the folly of his haste occurred to him with merciless clearness, the vastness of what he had left undone.” Clearer than “ever before,” he saw “the blue of Adriatic water, the yellow of Algerian sands.” The irony is that a person usually realizes irrevocability of suicide when it is too late to do anything about it. Paul understands that it can the biggest mistake of his life, dies and drops back “into the immense design of things.”


Paul appears “before the faculty of the Pittsburgh High School to account for his various misdemeanors.” When “questioned by the Principal as to why he was there Paul stated, politely enough, that he wanted to come back to school.” The irony was that Paul would consider himself the luckiest person in the world if he was allowed not to come back to school, for that was a place he hated with passion.

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