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Re-Union in Class Essay

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Hudson Barrena


6th period

AP Lit

Re-union In Class Essay

In John Cheever’s short story “Reunion”, a relationship between son and father is attempted to be rekindled, but the attempt ends up setting the son and father farther apart than they’ve ever been. Cheever blends humor and pathos in order to express the hardships of the son and father relationship.

In the first half of the story, the son and the father finally get to connect again after a long three years. They reconnect for a little bit, then start to think about what to do before the train comes for Charlie. Immediately after the two hug, the son starts to realize that this may be the last time he’ll want to make another reconnection with his distant father. The father’s behavior In the first restaurant reflected how the son may have been treated earlier in his life. The father seems almost neglectful and careless. Not out of sheer hatred, but because he is simply not a good father. He also seems oblivious or blinded to the fact that he hasn’t seen his flesh and blood son in over 3 years. The father tries to inject his own humor into the meeting with his son, hoping to spark a laugh or two out of his son. The father attempts to create humor because he doesn’t know any other way to connect with his son. The only thing his humor shows is the father’s social and fatherly flaws.

The second restaurant isn’t very big in importance. It was placed in the story to further develop the father’s inability to connect with his son, as well as develop his drunkenness. The father feels the need to give his underage son an alcoholic drink. This action proves once again that the father is not interested in the son’s morals or what the best thing for the son is. It seems that the longer the father and son “connect” and interact, the more the reader is able to understand the relationship issues that the father and son have. It also shows the reader the father’s personality and background history, and why the son’s mother left the father in the first place. The newspaper stand marked the final chapter of the son and father’s relationship. One of the last things said between the father and son is said as the father attempts to entertain the son at the stand. The father says, “I want to get a real rise out of this chap.” Meaning he wants to make the employee at the newspaper stand angry in order to make his son laugh. The only thing that line did was let the son know that his father’s intentions with him were false and skewed by his alcoholic actions



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