Two Gallants Essay

1216 WordsJun 10, 20115 Pages
Two Gallants A short story by James Joyce published in his 1914 collection Dubliners. Two men, Lenehan and Corley, are walking the streets of central Dublin on a Sunday evening. Corley dominates the conversation telling Lenehan about a girl he has recently seduced, a maid who works for a wealthy family. He brags about how the girl supplies him with cigars and cigarettes, which she steals from the family. Corley considers his relationship with this girl superior compared to when he used to ask women out and spend money on them. The two men have arranged a meeting with the maid, where the aim is to convince the maid to bring them money, stolen from her employees. Corley has a date with the girl later that evening, and before he leaves…show more content…
“He spoke without listening to his companions. His conversation was mainly about himself…” Corley is talking and bragging about himself throughout the entire conversation, with Lenehan as his audience. Lenehan keeps answering Corley with a cliché, which reinforces his lack of interest. And despite their long-term friendship, they still don’t trust each other. They both suspect each other for betrayal in the story. In the end of the story the two men are rewarded with what they desired, the gold coin. The two gallants have sold out love. They don’t want either love or sex from a girl. Instead they seek a girl who will supply and support them. They are in fact the complete opposite of how one imagines a gallant. “Two Gallants” was both provoking and shocking in the time it was written, the fact that Joyce refused to change any details in the story was partly the reason for the delayed publication of Dubliners[1]. James Joyce has no interest in showing Dublin in a good light. In “Two Gallants” he shows us the reality of young aimless women and men, and nothing is romanticized. His short story seems truly realistic, because of his vivid descriptions of the characters, city and ambiance. Combined with that, Joyce’s constant naming of exciting streets and corners makes the story even more realistic and hereby even more provoking. I don’t believe that “Two Gallants” is an example of two unique inhabitants of Dublin. To me it
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