Dubliners Two Gallants: Questions and Answers

James Joyce

Two Gallants: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What is the symbolism of the “veiled moon” in this story?

2. Is there religious significance in Lenehan’s repeated statement that Corley’s exploits “take the biscuit”?

3. What effect can we draw from Corley’s always walking “as if he were on parade”?

4. Corley used to date a higher class of girls before he started dating a “slavey.” Why has he “traded down”?

5. The slavey is wearing blue and white for their date, the traditional colors of the Virgin Mary. What is the meaning of this?

6. After Corley leaves him, Lenehan is famished. What’s the significance of this?

7. Rather than just having encounters, Lenehan would like to “settle down” and “live happily.” What’s the importance of this?

8. Joyce goes to great lengths to represent Lenehan’s wandering route through the Dublin streets. Why?

9. Beyond the fact that the slavey’s stealing money for him is immoral, how does it connect to the fact that Corley’s former girlfriend is now “on the turf”?

10. Lenehan imagines “Corley’s voice in deep energetic gallantries.” What’s the irony in this?

Answers
1. The moon is traditionally a romantic image, but Corley’s treatment is abusive and contemptible; it’s hardly romantic.

2. Lenehan is Corley’s disciple in the underhanded treatment of women. Therefore, the “biscuit” referred to represents the Holy Eucharist.

3. He is very conceited and self-absorbed.

4. Women with less money and no education are easier for Corley to manipulate and less demanding.

5. The symbolism is ironic; the slavey is not pure and probably not a virgin if she’s involved with Corley.

6. Corley’s exploits are titillating but not emotionally satisfying for Lenehan because they are empty. He longs for something more meaningful.

7. Although he admires Corley in a perverse way, Lenehan is a very different person, as is evidenced by Lenehan’s mild criticism of Corley’s “adventures.”

8. Torn between Corley’s way of life and his own desires, Lenehan leads a directionless and “wandering” existence.”

9. Both women have been lead to commit crimes through Corley’s negative influence.

10. Corley is no gallant; Lenehan only imagines that he has that potential.