Cheap Love Essay

1352 words - 5 pages

Cheap Love John Collier’s suspenseful short story “The Chaser”, combines possessive immature love with heart-wrenching wonder. It allows the reader to observe the relationship between an experienced man, and a naïve boy with a pitiful outlook on devotion. This immortal allegory of love has a grim-amusement tone, which is proven through the symbols, irony, and diction. The symbols allow the reader to see there is more to this situation than meets the eye. When the reader is introduced to Alan Austen, one sees him as a “nervous kitten”, because he is not confident in his actions. He knows what he is doing is not morally right, but he continues on. Alan climbs the “dark and creaky stairs” which gives the reader an eerie and anxious feeling of the upcoming events. When he enters the room, it appears to be a very simple quarters with a “plain kitchen table, a rocking chair, and an ordinary chair” which proves the owner is nothing but business. The old man who inhabits the room has the same aura as the “dark and creaky” stairs. He is a mysterious and lonely old man who shows no compassion for others. One can observe this lack of compassion since he sells potions that ruin people’s lives. He proceeds to inform the man Crossley 2 of his need for a love potion that would persuade Diana to return his love. Though Alan is in need of a love elixir, the old man offers him an elixir worth five thousand dollars. He explains this compound as a “glove cleaner” which will cure all the problems he may have. The mentioning of the poisonous potion is foreshadowing for the events that have yet to unfold. The old man knows that once Diana swallows the love potion, she will become an obsessed lover and Alan will need the “glove cleaner” to get rid of her. His repetition of the poison is symbolic because he knows the fate of the lovers. Alan wants nothing to do with the “glove cleaner” and purchases the love potion, ignoring the inadvertent forewarnings from the old man. He sells the love potion very cheap because “young people who need a love potion very seldom have five thousand dollars. Otherwise they would not need a love potion”. This statement is symbolic of Alan’s immaturity and selfishness. His need for love is so great that it overpowers his sense of self and does not allow him to see the real value of his life. If he would wait for true love, he would never need the five thousand-dollars as their love would be priceless. One can find humor in this dreadful situation that Alan has encountered. He is too youthful and impatient to foresee the consequences, so the reader can...

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