What are some important details from the story "The Chaser"?

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One important detail in "The Chaser" is the suggestion that it is possible to obtain a potion that will make one person fall madly in love with another. A second important detail is the suggestion that there would be a shop in a modern urban American setting where a man could go in and buy such a potion. The idea of love potions is one that seems to go with witches and sorcerers and other outmoded superstitions. Another important detail has to do with the fact that the old man sells the love potion for such a ridiculously small price when it ought to be worth a fortune to a man who was madly in love and wanted to make a woman love him as much in return. The stipulation that the potion is so cheap and the chaser so expensive is the most important thing in the story. It suggests paradoxically that it is much better not to be in love than to be in love, that love is a sort of painful affliction. Another important detail is that the seller knows the buyer will be coming back for the "chaser" and that the buyer actually does come back as expected. What is shown as happening in a microcosm is implied to be a universal phenomenon. Most people would not want to commit a murder, but many men and women have had the experience of getting into an intimate relationship and then regretting it and wanting to get out of it.

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The Chaser

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