A Little Cloud: Questions and Answers
1. Why is Little made to appear so juvenile in the story?
2. What is the significance of Gallaher’s working for the London press?
3. Interpret the line about Little: “At times he repeated the lines [of poetry] to himself and this consoled him.”
4. Thinking of his meeting with Gallaher, Little feels “superior” to others “for the first time in his life.” Why and what does this represent?
5. The restaurant where Gallaher is to meet Little is a swanky spot, where the waiters “spoke French and German.” What’s the significance of this?
6. Why is Gallaher described as possessing an “unhealthy ¬pallor”?
7. What does Gallaher’s heavy drinking symbolize?
8. Why does Little “allow his whiskey to be very much diluted”?
9. Explain the ironic significance of the two men’s very different physical descriptions.
10. What is the irony of Little’s tears at the story’s end?
1. This description heightens our sense of his helplessness.
2. Britain ruled Ireland by a hostile and colonial mandate. Most Irish hated England’s presence, and allusions to Britain are almost always negative and corrupt symbols in Joyce.
3. Little is content to repeat meaningless motions rather than move forward, the idea of which frightens him.
4. Little feels the reflected glory of his friend. He cannot feel superior because of his own accomplishments.
5. Little assumes that things influenced by continental Europe are naturally superior; he is biased against Dublin and Irish influence.
6. Gallaher’s attitude toward life is corrupt and unhealthy.
7. It symbolizes the degree of his dissolution and also his personal dissatisfaction, in spite of all his bragging.
8. Literally, he is not a heavy drinker. Symbolically, Chandler feels an aversion to the Irish influence.
9. Although they are close in age, Gallaher is described as much older-looking. This emphasizes his debauched life, whereas Little’s adolescent appearance emphasizes his innocence and naivete.
10. It is an ironic allusion to Little’s helplessness and exaggerated innocence.