Two Gallants Are Callous Men

Two Gallants Are Callous Men ‘Two Gallants are Callous Men’ Try not to let the title fool you. Two Gallants, written by James Joyce, is a short story centered around two callous men. One, Corley, is an older man of some rudeness and has a taste for womanizing. The other is a self-conscience, older man of some weight, named Lenehan. The story begins with a light approach, description of the evening weather and the illumined pearl lamps of the street. All of Joyces stories found in the work, The Dubliners, have a poetic quality that makes the simplest of remarks, beautiful.

This story in particular has the evident use of eloquent and flowing language but, in keeping with Joyces style, is used to mask the perverse subject matter. Underneath the language and examining the adolescent drives in two grown, callous men, is where the real story lies. As told by Joyce, Corley is an entertaining man who gives the reader pause as pertaining to his adolescent treatment of women. As read by a careful eye, Corley seeks the company of well-to-do girls as a prize and pay off. Through the beginning of the story, he tells his companion, Lenehan, about his latest encounter and his eminent one as well. Often referred to, is the question, as Lenehan puts it, Corley I suppose youll be able to pull it off alright?(31), this referring to Corleys congress with the girl.

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Lenehans interest stretches to the point where he wishes permission to see the girl up close, by walking by the two as a stranger, and even follow the two. This voyeurism displays as evidence of perverse subject matter in the piece. The title is meant as an obvious joke because the two characters are as far from gallants as horses are from dogs. This show of cynicism reflects throughout the story not only the conversations between the main characters but also in Joyces prose. Corley begins his journey as a night walk with his girl, departing from Lenehan who in turn, after following the two like a spy, makes his way to a bar.

Lenehan has spurts of contemplation in which time he criticizes his own habits, vices and position in life, He was tired of knocking about, of pulling the devil by the tail, of shifts and intrigues. He would be thirty-one in November. Would he never get a good job? Would he never have a home of his own(35)? This criticism reflects the need for the two gallants to moralize their dealings with the opposite sex and the world at large. When Lenehan is at the spot the two, Corley and himself, had agreed upon to meet, he is made to wait ten or fifteen minutes. During this short span of time, Lenehan speculates the reason of his friends lateness.

Ideas so far fetched that Lenehan begins to think that Corley will abandon the agreed plan and him. This distrust existing in Lenehans mind, of his own friend, edifies the presence of immoral drives and values. Although his paranoid speculation was unwarranted, it still existed as a possibility in Lenehans stout mind. The last the reader sees of the two gallants is outside the girls house. Here is the place in the story the reader is lead to the assumption that Corley is paid for his company.

The girl is lead to her home and although she enters, Corley stays outside on the sidewalk. His waiting is met by the re-emergence of the girl, who now carries in her hand a gold coin. The two exchanges the gold coin and Corley walks to meet his fellow gallant, which waits, watching the two, from across the street. When the question, is again, put forth by Lenehan, Did it come off? Corleys only reply is the raising of the gold coin. Book Reports.


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