Paul is the focal point of the story and the only fully developed character. He is a troubled and conflicted young man who longs for the romance of New York City, wealth, and the arts. However, Paul comes from a middle-class Pittsburgh family and has no money for nice clothes or attending the theater. Instead, he works as an usher so he can hear concerts at Carnegie Hall, and he daydreams about a more glamorous life. Paul's fixation on beauty and wealth lead him down a dark and delusional road. Paul displays no talent for engaging in the world of music or art but simply wants to enjoy luxury and beauty. He has no motivation to work or change his life in a realistic way, so he lies and steals to get a taste of the life he desires.