Personality upsets defined as a “ permeant chronic psychological upsets, which can greatly impact a individual ‘s life ” ( Dombeck 1 ) . They range from mild to severe in footings of their effects and effects. Peoples with personality upsets tend to hold an “ interior experience that is rather different from the norms of the person ‘s civilization ” ( 1 ) . As a consequence, victims often expose to struggles with the community they live with and experience anomic most of the clip. On her narrative, “ Paul ‘s Case, ” Willa Cather presents the inscrutability of a adolescent male child who seems to endure from yet unrecognized personality upset, which is universally identified about a century after she published her work.
The short narrative opens with Paul, the supporter, who is a pupil at Pittsburg High School, alleged with “ assorted misdemeanours ” and crusts that besides baffle his male parent ( Cather 492 ) . Now, before the Principal of the school, his instructors, who are his indicters, are responding with him really bitterly and furiously. Even if he claims that he wants to be allowed to travel back to school, his visual aspect and his adornment suggests that he does non hold a “ remorseful spirit suiting a male child under the prohibition of suspension ” ( 492 ) . In the first glance, it gives the feeling that the school module is covering with a usual haughty adolescent who seems in problem for perturbations in schoolroom. However, as Cather carries on she reveals how highly chronic his state of affairs is and how it constituents “ a bad instance ” ( 499 ) .
Paul was born in Colorado and he became a “ motherless chap ” even before he lights up his really first birthday taper ( 503 ) . He is pale, scraggy and tall. Most of the clip, he feel at odds with his household, the community at school and the society at Cordelia Street which he consider it as “ worse than gaol ” ( 503 ) . The lone topographic points Paul feel “ [ external respiration ] like a captive set free ” is in the theatre and in the Carnegie Hall, where he can sate his indulged phantasies and endorse up his inner depleted self-esteem ( 498 ) . Fantasies are “ element ” of “ Paul ‘s universe ” of “ artificiality ” which beatifies the “ ugliness ” in his existent empty life ( 498 ) . He is besides obsessed with art and theatre. For him they are like drugs and the lone manner to get away existent life ‘s worlds. Furthermore, even though, he is in the “ lowest measure ” of achievement degree as per Cather ‘s graduated table, he imagines to be recognized as a superior and celebrated ( 497 ) . Thinking himself as a particular being among the “ colourless mass of mundane being, ” he entitle himself to merit to sit “ on the top measure ” without traveling through “ the cash-boy phase ” ( 496-7 ) .Lie is his powerful instrument to “ asseverate his difference from other Cordelia Street male childs ” ( 503 ) .
Selfishness is besides another property that Paul possesses. The lone scenario he manages to pursuit a existent joyful life is while he feels “ no figure [ is ] at the top of the stepss ” ( 501 ) . Paul besides believes that “ money [ is ] everything ” ( 504 ) . He does non felt any guilty for stealing person else ‘s money for his trip to New York. Even after wasting the money at that place, his deficiency of empathy foliages him ruthless. Rather, he convinces himself that, “ he [ has ] mad the best of it and that he [ has ] lived the kind of life he [ is ] meant to populate ” ( 504 ) . Paul has besides an enviousness inclination. Even if he does desire to work to win, he “ snapped his dentitions ” out of enviousness for seeing the “ immature adult male with a hereafter ” up at the top of step ( 497 ) . Paul is besides self-importantly proud. His haughtiness manners are evident from the beginning of the narrative for have oning something inappropriate before the Principle. The ruddy carination, the manner he twitches his superciliums and lips, the manner he responses and acts out during categories are all groundss to demo how really disrespectful he is.
When he realizes he runs out of money and that his male parent is looking after him so that to convey him back to his lifeless hometown, he conceives that he is “ losing game in the terminal ” ( 504 ) . Specially, the idea of returning to Cordelia Street depressed him so intensely. Finding nil to feed his low self-esteem and emptiness deep in his bosom, he undertakings himself before an speed uping locomotor and commits suicide. At the concluding split of seconds, he becomes witting that he might hold survived if he had non so rapidly admitted licking.
Paul ‘s instance is complex. His disaffection from the society is graphic and that he is disqualifying. Comparing to the existent calamity happens to him, Paul ‘s intolerable behaviours and unrealistic word pictures leave most readers untouched at the terminal. Our reaction to the narrative tends to steal our understanding and forces us to leap to a decision that everything was in his free picks. From the beginning, it was evident that his state of affairss confused his male parent and annoyed his instructors. Student at school were bored of his self-praises. He was liar and thief excessively. However, his disconnected move to the utmost mystifiers us to ask what really go on to him.
Even though his instructors guessed that he was likely “ perverted by brassy fiction, ” the truth is revealed that, “ he barely of all time read at all ” ( 498 ) . One of the “ discourtesies ” remarked when he appeared before the module was “ [ vitamin D ] isorder ” ( 492 ) . Paul ‘s pulling instructor sensed that there is something that none of them able to spot or to infer about the male child ‘s jobs. He suspects that Paul ‘s “ white dentition and aˆ¦ forced life [ of ] eyes ” might be impeding to calculate what is truly traveling on with him: “ ‘I do n’t truly believe that smiling of his comes wholly from crust ; there ‘s something kind of haunted about it ‘ ” ( 493 ) . It is obvious that Paul is depressed and withdrawn. There was something unnatural about the immature adult male and the whole state of affairss seem inexplicable. Yes, these cryptic fortunes force Cather to go forth the incident as a ‘case ‘ to be studied instead than labeling or stoping it as ‘bad case’- as what his instructors concluded.
In 1997, 92 old ages after the narrative is published, Rob Sarri, by so a physician campaigner in Clinical Psychology from Texas Tech University, claimed that Paul ‘s behaviours and bad lucks shows every marks of a Egotistic Personality Disorder ( NPD ) and that the same logical thinking is the exacerbating factor for Paul atrocious death. As it is published in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( DSM-IV ) of the American Psychiatric Association, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is described as:
[ a ] permeant form of magniloquence ( in phantasy or behaviour ) , need for esteem, and deficiency of empathy, get downing by early maturity and nowadays in a assortment of contexts, as indicated by five ( or more ) of the followers:
has a grandiose sense of ego ( e.g. , exaggerates accomplishments and endowments, expects to be recognized as higher-up without commensurate accomplishments )
is preoccupied with phantasies of limitless success, power, glare, beauty, or ideal love
believes that he or she is “ particular ” and alone and can merely be understood by, or should tie in with, other particular or high-status people ( or establishments )
requires inordinate esteem
has a sense of entitlement, i.e. , unreasonable outlooks of particularly favourable intervention or automatic conformity with his or her outlooks
is interpersonally exploitatory, i.e. , takes advantage of others to accomplish his or her ain terminals
deficiencies empathy: is unwilling to acknowledge or place with the feelings and demands of others
is frequently covetous of others or believes that others are covetous of him or her
shows arrogant, disdainful behaviours or attitudes ( Dombeck 14 )
Sarri assessed and concluded that Paul ‘s instance is “ a archetypal instance ” ( 1 ) . Harmonizing to DSM-IV, to do a narcissistic-personality-disorder diagnosing, a individual must at least fitting five of the nine standards stated above. Surprisingly, as Sarri analysis it, Paul is found to be “ run intoing all nine ” the standards ( 1 ) . It is graphic that Paul has an utmost sense of ego, an eternal preoccupation of success, a crisp singularity among others, an incontestable entitlement to superior things, a frozen self-importance, an arrant apathy, an unrealistic enviousness and a seeable disdain.
Sarri specify that, it is in peculiar Paul ‘s deficiency of empathy and disdain that “ incites his instructors and leaves the reader tearless about his self-destruction ” ( 3 ) . He relates these with the typical reactions that healers who work with egotistic patients manifested: “ healers sometimes respond to the narcist ‘s air of high quality and disdain with ‘self-protectiveness ‘ and ‘anger ‘ ” ( 2 ) . Therapists, psychologists, societal workers, and head-shrinker reported that they have “ negative feeling towards [ personality upsets ] patients ” as the patients “ frequently evoke in their doctors dislike or even outright hatred ” ( Vaknin ) . Even more specifically, they declare that, “ [ B ] Y far, the worst is the egotistic ” ( Vaknin ) . These property to the fact that why Paul ‘s instructors were so angered and why “ they [ autumn ] upon him without clemency ” ( Cather 492 ) .
However, the difference between the healers and the instructors is that, the “ healer recognizes that the narcist is disturbed ” ( Sarri 2 ) . However, the instructors do non understand Paul ‘s state of affairss. Even though Paul ‘s drawing-master notices something “ hangout [ ing ] about ” the male child, no organic structure give it attendings and the pulling instructors either has nil farther to state about ( 493 ) . As Sarri summarized it, even if the term ‘narcissism ‘ was incorporated in the psychiatric literacy every bit early as 1914, it was merely on the DSM-IV, which was punished in 1994, that “ scientists reached a house, through empirical observation validated consensus ” of its standards ( 1 ) .
Sarri was stunned by how Willa Cather able to “ intuitively set forth the diagnostic standards for a egotistic personality upset about 90 old ages before ” it was reached scientifically ( 1 ) . It invites to chew over how that could be possible! Was it a mere happenstance or it was a prefiguration that was revealed to her about the hereafter? That is what merely Cather knows. However, Sarri contended that, “ Paul ‘s Case ” is an ideal instance and that, in world, the opportunity to happen a egotistic who meets all the nine standards is really minimum:
The existent figure of ways to be egotistic, given that five standards out of nine must be met, is 256:
figure of combinations = 9! /5! ( 9-5 ) ! 9! /6! ( 9-6 ) ! … 1 = 256
The likeliness that a individual with a egotistic personality upset would run into all nine standards is slender, and the likeliness that we would run into a character who is both egotistic and meets all nine standards is even slimmer since the current epidemiological research estimation on the prevalence of egotistic personality upset in the general population is less than 1 % . ( 4 )
Even though still presently there is “ no medicines specifically used to handle egotistic personality upset, ” I believe that Paul would hold been good if he had live in the current modern-day universe ( “ Narcissistic aˆ¦ ” ) . Today, psychotherapeutics for egotistic personality upset helps “ to turn to such issues as aˆ¦depression, low self-esteemaˆ¦ ” and “ to reshape aˆ¦.personality, at least to some grade, so that [ the narcissist ] can alter forms of believing that distort [ his/her ] self-image and make a realistic self-image ” ( “ Narcissistic aˆ¦ ” ) . Further, the same mention stated that ‘suicidal ‘ is one of the complications of untreated egotistic personality upset.
Paul, who faces jobs to understand and to suit the societies he lived with, whom, in bend, were unable to understand his jobs and agonies, decided to segregate himself out of this universe. Even if “ Paul ‘s Case ” can be reduced to “ A Prototypical Narcissistic Case ” , it should still be kept as an unfastened instance as Cather left it, as we do non yet have comprehensive replies for the upset causes, interventions and bars.