A Little Cloud

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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In "A Little Cloud" the main character is named Thomas Malone Chandler, but he is nicknamed little Chandler. When one reads between the lines, one can see that there are more reasons for Chandler's nickname than simply his small physical build. If one looks at the way in which Chandler speaks, and acts, and the way he looks up to Gallaher, one can see that Chandler is actually still a child.

Throughout the story there are phrases said by both Chandler and Gallaher, which seem more fitting for a child than an adult. Things such as "lunch-time" or "the great city London" are more expected in children's songs than in short stories. Chandler also "repeat[s] lines to himself and this console[s] him" (68) which sounds like a child being put to sleep by a nursery rhyme. The way Chandler asked Gallaher for one last drink is similar to the way that a child would ask a parent for one last piece of candy.

Like a child, Chandler has problems expressing himself. He has a problem describing Gallaher and simply says "There was always a certain ... something in Ignatius Gallaher." (69) By the way other characters speak to him, one is given the impression he is still a child. Gallaher is constantly calling Chandler ether "my boy" or "Tommy," which sounds like a child's name.

The way Chandler acts is a clue to his infantilism. When walking to Corless's he plans out his entire poetry career, including people's reactions to his poems. He has the imagination of a child and it takes over his reality, as an imaginary friend would invade the reality of a child. Once he reaches Corless's he is reluctant to enter. This is because Corless's is a bar, an adult locale and if he entered...