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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

John Collier had a sour attitude toward marriage. "The Chaser" is one of his surrealistic short stories in which something fantastic happens in a mundane setting. The protagonist is madly in love and is trying to find a love potion that will make the woman fall in love with him. The strange little man who sells him the potion charges virtually nothing for it, but tells him he has a chaser, or a sort of antidote, available in case he should need it to counteract the effect of the love potion. The chaser is extremely expensive. That is where the vendor makes all his money. The buyer gets the woman but then feels suffocated by her ceaseless demands for love and attention. He comes back to buy the chaser, which will obviously kill his wife. Collier is simply saying that love is an illusion and that marriage can turn into a hateful, claustrophobic relationship."The Chaser" is a good example of black humor. It is not intended to be taken too seriously.