The Chaser Questions and Answers

The Chaser

The motto of John Collier's story “The Chaser” might well be “be careful what you wish for.” The “clients” that come to visit the old man think they know exactly what they want. Some want another...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2021, 5:58 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Chaser

"The Chaser" employs what's called situational irony. This is a situation where actions have an effect that is the exact opposite of what was intended. Alan wants to buy a love potion but will...

Latest answer posted February 17, 2018, 8:56 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

A chaser is a drink of something that usually follows a straight shot of whiskey, gin, tequila, or some other strong liquor. The chaser may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. A lot of men like a shot...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2015, 10:25 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

I would argue that Alan Austen is characterized by lovesickness, a sense of commitment, gullibility, and naivete. To deal first with his lovesickness, he has become obsessed with a young woman...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2020, 10:55 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Chaser

There's no difference at all between them. But as the old man is effectively peddling death, he can't come right out and call what he's selling by its proper name; he can't say "Here's some poison...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2018, 9:13 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

The quote from John Collier's "The Chaser" (1940) you refer to is an important one in the story because it encapsulates one of its key themes: cynicism and skepticism toward love. This viewpoint is...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2019, 12:38 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

The term "chaser," as used by drinkers, is getting to be somewhat outdated. It means a drink of something bland or sweet to follow-up a straight shot of something like whiskey, gin, rum, or...

Latest answer posted July 2, 2016, 6:53 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

John Collier's story can be read in both literal and metaphorical ways. The reader could accept it as a story of a young man who wishes to buy a love lotion; this is plausible, but it makes the...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2019, 8:51 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Chaser

This is an interesting question because this story doesn't have any conflict between the two characters that are in the story. The story begins with Alan visiting the store of a mysterious potion...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2018, 11:07 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

Unfortunately, I believe that Alan has an exceptionally warped view of what love is. Alan goes to the mysterious potion dealer in hopes of purchasing a love potion that will aid him in his quest to...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2019, 2:52 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

The entire story takes place in a single room. It might seem that in this particular story John Collier is trying to adhere to the Aristotelian unities of time, place, and action. The time is the...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2015, 1:41 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

The old man in the story is in a criminal business and has to keep a low profile. This explains why he has such a nondescript and out-of-the-way establishment and why customers can only come to him...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2016, 1:06 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

The old man who sells potions seems to have a very casual attitude about business. He does not seem especially concerned about making money, although he probably makes plenty of money in the long...

Latest answer posted May 23, 2016, 3:40 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

Alan does not say exactly what he wants at first, although it becomes obvious that he is in love and wants a love potion. He is pursuing a girl appropriately named Diana (after the virgin Greek...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2015, 12:13 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

The Chaser is a curious story; quite sad really. Marriage is the bane of many jokes and no longer preferred by most young people. They do not feel that it is an expression of "real" love but more...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2013, 2:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

Alan Austen is a young man who's deeply in love with a woman named Diana; he's convinced that she's the one for him; however, the more he persists, the more Diana rejects his advances. Thus, he...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2021, 10:21 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

The main idea of John Collier's short story "The Chaser" is an exploration of what love is. Alan is the story's main character, and he deeply desires a relationship with Diana. He is completely...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2019, 4:54 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

We never find out much about Diana. We can, however, reasonably infer that she's somewhat out of Alan's league (hence his going to see the old man to purchase a love potion). Alan causally mentions...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2018, 8:41 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

The mood of the story is one of surrealism and black humor. Here is an old man selling love potions and undetectable poisons in the wide open in a shop in modern Manhattan. He must be well known...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2013, 11:34 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

The word "chaser" has multiple meanings, and interestingly enough, each of them can be related to the story in different ways. The most obvious meaning of the word is "one who pursues". This can...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2009, 3:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

The story is written in such a way that much of the action occurs "offstage," so to speak, and can only be imagined by the reader based on the behavior of Alan Austen and the words of the...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2013, 7:13 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

John Collier displayed a negative and cynical attitude about marriage in several of his stories, including "The Chaser," "De Mortuis," and "Back for Christmas." The theme of "The Chaser" is not...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2012, 12:16 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Chaser

In every story, the rising action includes the events that take place in between the inciting incident and the climax. In this short story, it is important to understand what the inciting incident...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2011, 7:13 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

Yes, I suppose one might say that the antagonist is the young woman with whom the protagonist Alan Austen is in love. She does not appear in the story, but her importance is obvious. He loves her...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2012, 10:06 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

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...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2012, 11:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

In the story “The Chaser” by British writer John Collier one thing that makes the story sound realistic is the vivid description of the setting of the story. For example, right in the opening lines...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2015, 9:57 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

"The Chaser" is told from a third-person objective point of view. The narrator is not omniscient but only reports what can be seen and heard in the single setting, a little shop in a big modern...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2013, 12:46 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

The old man in this wonderful story is experienced in a variety of ways. A reader could make the argument that the old man is experienced purely by age alone. As the saying says, "with age comes...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2020, 8:53 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

The author probably had at least two reasons for not assigning a name to the old man. One was that the old man was engaged in an illegal business and probably preferred to remain anonymous. There...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2015, 1:58 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

The old man is operating an illegal business in a run-down building in New York. He does not advertise and obviously keeps a low profile. He depends for customers on recommendations of others who...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2015, 3:10 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

Here is the piece of text to which you refer. Let's look at it in context: "Call it a glove-cleaner if you like," said the old man indifferently. "Maybe it will clean gloves. I have never tried....

Latest answer posted October 4, 2010, 8:03 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

Yes and no. The trouble with idealized romantic love is that it doesn't last. That is precisely what the story is all about. That sort of love, including the physical part of it, is very appealing...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2015, 12:29 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

“The Chaser” is a great story. As your question suggests, the title seems a bit odd because the story never specifically mentions a “chaser”; however, I do see the title as quite appropriate for...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2017, 2:54 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

There aren't really any dynamic characters in "The Chaser." However, the old man's unique business model, if you want to call it that, is certainly predicated on the existence of men changing their...

Latest answer posted January 11, 2019, 6:22 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

In the short story "The Chaser" by John Collier, a young man named Allen Austen is infatuated with a woman named Diana. He goes to an old man to purchase a love potion to get Diana to fall in love...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2019, 3:53 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

This is a great question because the story doesn't answer it. Readers are given the following line about the old man and his knowledge of Alan's name: An old man sat in the rocking-chair, reading...

Latest answer posted June 24, 2018, 3:10 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

The quote in question appears fairly early on in the story. It comes right after the old man explains that the poison he sells is quite untraceable and quite expensive. He says that his...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2019, 4:43 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

The old man doesn't precisely trick Alan; it's perhaps more accurate to say that Alan tricks himself. When the old man offers Alan a love potion, he tells Alan in no uncertain terms exactly what...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2017, 3:27 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

What the old man is selling Austen is quite obviously a poison which Austen will use to kill his wife. The old man never says explicitly what the substance is. This is understandable, since he...

Latest answer posted March 17, 2012, 9:12 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

John Collier had a negative attitude about marriage. His story "The Chaser" is only concerned with marital relationships. The old man who sells the lovesick, impetuous Alan Austen the potion he...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2013, 11:43 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

Each reader is welcome to answer this according to their own subjective interpretation. There are probably several things that we and the store owner know that Alan doesn't know. I think one safe...

Latest answer posted September 3, 2019, 11:59 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

The short story "The Chaser" by John Collier tells of a young man named Alan Austen, who seeks out an old man selling extraordinary potions. The old man first shows Austen a colorless, tasteless...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2019, 6:05 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

In the story, poison is mentioned as a "life-cleaner," an euphemistic description for murder. Alan Austen, the protagonist, anticipates that the love potion will win him the woman of his dreams. In...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2018, 4:46 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

I am not sure what your particular teacher defines as "level 2 and 3" questions, but I am going to assume that the questions have to be on a deeper level than a question that asks for simple,...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2018, 12:20 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

I suppose a basic question would be "What is the meaning of the title 'The Chaser?'" It does not have anything to do with a man chasing a woman. Another level-one question might be: "Why is the...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2012, 10:36 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

I believe that this question is asking for a bit of explanation as to how the title of this great short story applies to the events being narrated. I'm actually always pleased to find out that most...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2019, 7:57 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

Though undoubtedly well-written and entertaining in its own way, "The Chaser" does nonetheless betray quite a shocking degree of misogyny. Women are presented in the story as a problem, and not...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2018, 8:50 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Chaser

John Collier was a famous writer and "The Chaser" is one of his best stories. You can find ample coverage on "The Chaser" by clicking on the links below. I have changed your topic to "The Chaser"...

Latest answer posted June 22, 2012, 3:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

Mr. Austin is visiting the shop because he has heard that the proprietor sells love potions. Austin is desperate. He is madly in love with a beautiful young woman, but she does not love him. His...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2013, 11:50 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Chaser

"The Chaser," like many of John Collier's stories, is an example of metafiction (see the reference link below). The story is not intended to be taken too seriously, although the underlying message...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2013, 12:00 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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