Definitely, Paul was a trouble- maker. He despised his teachers and their homilies, and he hated going to school. He also detested Cordelia Street. According to the text, the narrator said that, "it was a highly respectable street, where all the houses were exactly alike. All of the people were as exactly alike as their home." So, Paul never went up Cordelia Street without a shudder of loathing. He was unwillingly to go home, partly because of his father and partly because of his room. Paul was afraid of his father. When he came home very late, he wanted to lie to his father preventing from being reproaching. His father wanted him to be a decent man and hoped that he could be a clerk. But it was not what Paul wanted. The narrator also mentioned that in Paul's room, there were horrible yellow wallpaper, the creaking bureau and pictures of George Washington and John Calvin. To Paul, his room was like a prison. He was really scared it. Even when he went to sleep in the hotel in New York, he turned on the lights, because if he wake up in the night, there would be no horrible suspicion of yellow wallpaper, or of Washington and Calvin above his bed.
Paul always wanted to get away from the disgusting environment. He thought people around him were ordinary and superficial. He wanted to be special. And, when he was in the Carnegie Hall, he grew more and more vivacious and animated. In there, he was a real human. And when Paul saw the pictures or when the symphony began, Paul lost himself. But I do not think that Paul loved art and music. I think maybe it was the atmosphere that made him feel free. The concert hall was gorgeous and the people in the hall looked like noble and rich. Maybe Paul thought he was one of the members, so he felt that he was also noble.
New York was in sharp contrast to Pittsburgh. In Paul's opinion, New York was a symbol of freedom, rich and glory. Everything in New York was good. But I think it is because that Paul did not see the bad side of New York. On arriving in New York, he at once bought a lot of wardrobe to dress himself up. Then he decorated his room with flowers. He made everything quite perfect, just like his ideal. And it was exactly the kind of life he had always wanted. He liked "Paul" in New York, and he had forgotten "Paul" in Pittsburgh. In New York, no body knew about his past. They would think he was a rich man. This was what he expected, though it was temporary.
All through Paul's life, he always told lies. Even he had to steal money to make his dream come true. If I were Paul, I would feel guilty. Perhaps it is because that Paul could not change the reality and he could not disobey his father, finally he had to use lies and imagination to establish the ideal world.
Who is responsible for the tragedy, Paul himself or the environment? I think both. I suppose that Paul did not make an effort to struggle for his life. He did not want to face the true world, and always hide in his own world. The clearest example is that Paul wanted to New York. In there, he built the beautiful realm. Finally, he was afraid of returning to the real world, so he committed suicide. On the other hand, his father and teachers were responsible for the tragedy. They did not know his feeling. They always blamed him and pressed him. At the end, they made him go to a hopeless situation. I think if there was someone who cared about Paul and listened to him, maybe the tragedy would not happen.