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In this life we all choose the life that we want to live. In the story ‘Two Gallants’ Lenehan and Corley choose a life of luring women and making them believe that they love them in the intention of acquiring money from them. This is unacceptable because instead of doing noble work that would not only generate income for them but also give them satisfaction. According to their descriptions they are young handsome men who can easily get a job for themselves.
Based on this story, it is clear that Lenehan is dependent on Corley. It seems that Lenehan has a hard time coming to terms with the fact that he is turning thirty one and he does not have a stable job. Age is almost catching up with him and he is not yet fulfilled in his own personal life. On the other hand he is also afraid of letting go of the easy money that he and his friend is getting from the women they are cheating on. Lenehan desires a good simple-minded lady when he sees a couple saying goodbye to each other. He wonders when he will get a good job and who he would like to settle down with because in his experiences, he knows the kind of girl he usually hangs out with are not the kind of girls he would take home as his wife. The thought of this rubs up on him and he becomes sad for a moment but he remains optimistic that things will work out to his advantage. We also observe that Lenehan is fearful when Corley happened to be late in his meeting with the lady who they were supposed to collect money from. He wonders around in circles contemplating if Corley was going to get the money or not. He also thinks how of the possibility that Corley may double cross him and go with the money without sharing with him.
Corley on the other hand is portrayed as a dictator. He is the one in charge of the situation. He tells of how he is a pimp and the matter at hand would not pose a problem at all. He tells Lenehan that he usually waits about twenty minutes before he shows up to meet the lady whom he had agreed to meet with. Even how he met this house help was all as a result of his confidence and his huge ego which, according to him, could not fail. Corley is described as a tall guy who walked with his hands by his sides, holding himself erect and swaying his head from side to side. He always stared straight before him as if he were on parade and, when he wished to gaze after someone in the street, it was necessary for him to move his body from the hips. Also, the fact that he used to be seen with policemen in plain clothes explains why he was so full of himself. We are told that he did not listen to the opinions of his company. He had the final word on any matter and his arrogance made him so influential. This is clear why Lenehan used to follow him and found it very hard to leave him and start a new life by which he could be fulfilled.
Although Corley acknowledged Lenehan and his opinions, as far as he was concerned, he was still in charge. Also to some extent we see that Lenehan has guts too because he posed a challenge to Corley when he suggested to be introduced to the young lady. Corley declined saying that he may rob him of his new catch. He knew that Lenehan was capable of doing that since he was a bright fellow and he knew how to sweet- talk ladies. The influence of Corley led to the stealing of the gold coin from the house which the lady worked. Also, this was not a time occurrence because it had happened before and the results were more or less the same since they benefited from such scenarios.
‘Bad company corrupts good morals’ so they say. In the essay we understand the truth of that statement which is brought out in the character of Corley. He influences Lenehan into performing negative or wrong behavior since he was not able to achieve the things that he most desired in his heart. Their behavior is also portrayed as an act of theft and it is a crime against the government and human nature. Even the author does not agree to their behavior which we see from his works. The story eventually portrays that not only do the characters gain selfishly but also hurt the female folk once they get what they wanted. We can see light at the end of the tunnel when Lenehan is hopeful to settle down and find a good job, which can sustain both him and his family without having to hurt anyone.