Paul is a down to earth and sensible man who has spent his entire life working meticulously in his hardware store in a modest Midwest town. When the need arises to rescue his son from a dinosaur-invaded island, he turns to one man who has survived in similar circumstances, or so he thinks—a man who is an expert on dinosaurs and whom Paul hopes can keep them all alive, if they will just listen to him. Dr. Alan Grant! He’s concerned to hear there were two islands, since that reduces their factor of survival in his mind. Though he plays the role convincingly of an important person with a great deal of money who intends to finance Dr. Grant’s dig for a few years in exchange for a brief airplane ride, Paul is also anxious to be liked, eager for forgiveness, and apologetic for having deceived Alan in the first place. He tries to smooth things over almost constantly, reassures and comforts his wife in her hysterics, and talks about their last family vacation once reunited with his family, as a way of bringing them together. He is infinitely more cautious than his wife, and far more aware of the potential risks in what they are doing, but shows very little idealized thinking.

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“You drive five miles under the speed limit, Paul,” his wife says of him. “If our son had stayed with you, he would be safe right now.” Cautious and trustful of Dr. Grant, Paul tries to do whatever he says will keep them safe. He is almost constantly reminding his wife not to scream on the island and draw attention to them by things that could kill them, but is also quick and courageous in how he distracts the dinosaur in order to electrocute it during the storm, a feat that almost costs him his life. He is family-oriented, warm-hearted, but also self-trusting and a bit stuck in his ways—he never wanted to go many places or see much before need forced him to take action on his son’s behalf.