“—It’s nothing . . . He . . . he began to cry . . . tears of remorse started to his eyes” (p. 85)
This passage was most interesting to me because of the deliberate vagueness behind it. Little Chandler clearly regrets something, as shown by the shame in his cheeks and tears in his eyes, but the cause of his shame is unclear. He could be ashamed for being so envious of Gallaher and for scaring his son, but it is also possible that the shame and tears are there because he feels that his life has not amounted to anything substantial and that he is trapped in mediocrity. He could be seeing how powerless he is; he was unable to pursue his desire to be a poet, unable to be an impressive man like Gallaher, not even able to stop his own son from crying. When he was speaking with Gallaher his wife and son were the two things he tried to hold above his friend, but Gallaher immediately brushed Little Chandler’s pride off by saying he could marry into money any time he desired. However, Little Chandler’s remorse and shame are just as likely to be directed towards his reaction to Gallaher and his feelings of regret. When speaking to Gallaher about his wife and son he was blushing; his pride in his family was evident. He could be lamenting how foolish his thinking was and regretting angering his wife and scaring his son, seeing that his envy was misplaced and that he is leading a good, modest life. I believe that the vagueness is there to leave it up to the reader to decide Little Chandler’s true feelings.