Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Paul Character Analysis

Paul is a Sunday news editor at the New York Post and Susannah's mentor. He's a large man, though he's very comforting, and he uses extremely colorful language. He gave Susannah her first chance at being a reporter when she was a sophomore in college, and has mentored her ever since. Susannah describes him as an overwhelmingly masculine individual: he regularly gambles, eats burgers with gravy, and parties hard. Though he worries about Susannah when he sees her after her release from the hospital, he does allow Susannah to return to work and quietly helps her with her articles when he sees that she struggles to write coherently.

Paul Quotes in Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

The Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness quotes below are all either spoken by Paul or refer to Paul. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon and Schuster edition of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness published in 2012.
Chapter 43 Quotes

Buoyed by this new ability to explain, I began to research the disease in earnest and became obsessed with understanding how our bodies are capable of such underhanded betrayal. I found, to my frustration, that there's more we don't know about the disease than we do know.

Related Characters: Susannah (speaker), Paul
Page Number: 208
Explanation and Analysis:
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Paul Character Timeline in Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

The timeline below shows where the character Paul appears in Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
...for her, but she nervously walks to Steve's office anyway and sits down next to Paul, another editor and her mentor. (full context)
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Susannah, Paul, and Steve sit in silence for a few minutes. Desperately, Susannah says she saw something... (full context)
Chapter 3
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
Susannah asks Paul the same question, and he tells her the same thing. He insists she's not crazy... (full context)
Chapter 7
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
...and won't last. Susannah announces to Angela that everything will be great, and she asks Paul to go smoke with her outside. In the elevator, Susannah tells Paul that she feels... (full context)
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
After ten minutes, Paul heads inside and calls Angela. He insists they need to call Susannah's mom because something... (full context)
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Angela gets permission from Paul to take Susannah for a drink, with the hope of piecing together why Susannah is... (full context)
Chapter 34
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
...visit during this stay. When Angela visits, she's startled by Susannah's appearance. She later emails Paul and says that Susannah is pale, thin, and out of it. (full context)
Chapter 43
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
Responsibility and the Medical System Theme Icon
...people's questions about her disease by saying simply that her body attacked her brain. When Paul emails, however, Susannah jumps at the opportunity to try to answer him fully. She has... (full context)
Chapter 44
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
...other week, and Susannah has twelve between July and December. She remains in contact with Paul, who asks every few weeks when she'll return to work. Finally, Susannah agrees to stop... (full context)
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
...reaches the offices, she feels suddenly exhausted and like this is too soon. She texts Paul to meet her on the street. Paul greets Susannah with a bear hug. He chats... (full context)
Chapter 45
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
...record interviews because she can't write as fast as she once could. Both Angela and Paul discreetly help her. (full context)
Chapter 46
Identity and Illness Theme Icon
Storytelling, Memory, and Emotion Theme Icon
At the Post later that day, Angela mentions to Steve and Paul where they'd been. Steve asks Susannah to write a first-person piece about her experience by... (full context)