“A Little Cloud” is one of the stories in James Joyce’s Dubliners. The story is about Thomas Chandler who was reunited with his friend Ignatius Gallaher. He was not able to fulfill his ambition of becoming a writer because he became a family man. With a wife and a son of his own, he envied his friend and felt inferior rather than be happy for his friend’s success. His career could be greater than his friend’s but he gave up his love for poetry since he got married.
Feeling dismayed and envious of his friend, Chandler thought that he could have produced his own book of poems if he pursued his poetry writing. Chandler and Gallaher met up at a bar where they talked about the struggles of the latter to succeed. Chandler admired Gallaher’s gruff manners and his tales from the foreign cities. He insisted that his friend should also be married like him someday. However, Gallaher refused because as bachelor, he can go on and move freely from one place to another with mistresses around him.
When Chandler got home, he began contemplating on his life while looking at his wife’s picture and holding their son. Afterward, he questioned his married life. He knew that he could go out of Dublin like his friend and be successful if only he did not marry early and settle with a family of his own. He didn’t realize that his child was already crying until her wife returned home who. When she saw that the baby was crying, she snatched the baby away from him, leaving him frustrated as he blamed his thoughts for what happened.
Another story from the Dubliners is “Counterparts. ” The story is about Farrington, a copy clerk in one firm where he used to copy legal documents for Mr. Alleyne. One day, he failed to do his job and missed to produce one copy of an important document. This made his boss angry and gave him a deadline to submit the document before the closing time. However, he was looking forward for a night out drinking with his friends later. This distraction caused him to daydream about the happenings later instead of working properly.
As a result, he failed to complete to copy the documents his boss asked of him. Farrington thought that Mr. Alleyne will not know that the documents were incomplete, but he was wrong. When Mr. Alleyne found out about it, he went to Farrington’s desk with Miss Delacour, their client. His boss started ridiculing him but he fought back, claiming ignorance while insulting his boss with witty remarks. This amused Miss Delacour and his co-workers. Afterward, he left the office without completing his tasks.
He decided to pawn his pocket watch in order to have money for drinking with his friends. He met his friends and told them how he insulted his boss. Upon leaving the pub, they decided to transfer to another place where they continued drinking. Farrington got frustrated because of the huge amount of money being spent on drinking. He wanted to impress other people and went on an arm wrestling. Much to his dismay, he lost. Feeling dejected, he went home only to find out his wife was not there and there was no food to eat.
This made him very angry which caused him to beat up his son. The characters of Chandler and Farrington both experienced frustration and depression. To ease themselves of their disappointments in life, they drank with their friends. Instead of working hard to counterfeit their downfalls, they stuck to their old (or unpleasant, as in the case of Farrington) ways. Although Chandler dreamed of becoming a successful writer, he was not determined to pursue it. In the case of Farrington, the short-lived joys of life made him forget his responsibilities at work.
Instead of saving himself from poverty, he pawned his watch to get money for beer. To release their frustration, they placed the blame on others. Both characters displayed negligence, particularly as a father. Chandler was too preoccupied with his thoughts that he forgot that his baby needed his attention. Farrington, on the other hand, was so upset that he ended up beating his own son. I think their behavior was really unpleasant because as a man, they should stand up for the decisions they made, instead of easing their frustrations by drinking and placing the blame on others.