In "A Little Cloud" Joyce's portrait is of a small man whose attempts at success are futile. He admires an old friend for his talent, yearning to be a poet himself. But "a gentle melancholy" makes him feel it is "useless to struggle against fortune." Here Joyce hints at the fatalistic character of the Irish. Little Chandler's remembrances continue to be melancholic and "like an infant hope," not realized. As he approaches the appointed meeting spot with his old friend, Gallahar, Little Chandler is racked with indecision. After he finally enters, meets and speaks with his friend, Chandler feels somewhat 'disillusioned." This disillusionment becomes self-pity after Chandler is not able to"assert his manhood" when Gallahar disparages marriage. Upon his return home, Chandler looks at the photo of his wife, a face without passion. Little Chandler feels a deep resentment that "awoke within him."
Chandler resents his domineering wife who has abruptly left him with their crying child. Chandler counts seven sobs and worries that the child might die. When his wife returns, she rushes in, accusing him of harming the child. Then, Chandler perceives her look: [He]sustained the gaze of her eyes and his heart closed together as he met the hatred in her eyes." This is his moment of epiphany. He will always be childish; his life is futile, tragic: "Tears of remorse filled his eyes."