John Cheever - Reunion

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John Cheever - Reunion

By | Feb. 2012
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Analysis: ”Reunion” by John Cheever

We all know the feeling and the thoughts, which come to our mind, when meeting someone for the first time after several years. “Does she look the same? Will there be any awkward silences or feelings? I wonder how much he has changed” Your stomach might turn upside down right before the meeting, too. “Reunion” from 1962 by John Cheever, is a short story told through the eyes of a young boy. Most children, who meet their parents after a long period, would be overwhelmed with joy. Even though our main character is very happy to meet his father, does their reunion end happily, too?

In the first paragraph we are introduced to a young boy and his father. Charlie, the boy’s name, is looking forward to meeting his father, whom he hasn’t seen for the past 3 years – ever since the divorce of his parents. The boy’s age must be around 17 years old, since he is old enough to travel by train alone, but too young to be served alcohol at the restaurant. “He was a stranger to me”(p.1 l. 7), shows that he is very anxious about his upcoming meeting with his father. But soon after he says “But as soon as I saw him I felt that he was my father”(p.1 l. 9),. This implies that he is more relaxed when he sees his father, and also happy about the reunion. “I smelled my father the way my mother sniffs a rose” ”(p.1 l. 17), implies to the reader that Charlie is happy to be reunited with his father again. He emphasizes his feelings by saying “I wished that we could be photographed. I wanted someone to record of our having been together. ”(p.1 l. 20-21), He also looks up to his father, and has always done so: “I knew that when I was grown I would be something like him” ”(p.1 l. 10-11),

In the same paragraph we are also introduced to his father, whose name isn’t mentioned during the story. An image of the father being a busy businessman forms in the mind of the reader. On top of that, it is not the father himself, who replies to Charlie’s message...