John Cheever Reunion

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When most people hear the word “reunion”, the first thing that comes to their mind is a positive event, in which family or friends who have been apart for some time, are reunited. John Cheever flips this idea on its head in his short story, “Reunion”, in which he tells of the reunion between Charlie and his father, who had been separated by divorce. Cheever uses a mixing of techniques that include the themes of pathos, humor, and the grotesque, in order to describe the far from heartwarming reunion of a father and son. The short story demonstrates pathos right away, when it begins with the line, “The last time I saw my father was in Grand Central Station.” Before readers even know the main character’s name, they feel pity for him. Feelings of pathos only increase as Charlie’s relationship with his father is further explained. Because of divorce, he has not had contact with his father for three years; Charlie pointing out, “He was a stranger to me.” Despite the separation they…show more content…
After learning about the life that Charlie’s father lives, the fact that Charlie believes he will grow to be like his father evokes pity from the reader. Charlie wanting, wishing, and hoping to be seen with his father for proof that they were together demonstrates the longing Charlie felt for his father, and the desire to have a relationship with him, or at least, appear to have a relationship with him. As the short story progresses, feelings of pathos increase, as Charlie’s father attempts to redeem himself from his behavior at the restaurants. He tries to buy his son a newspaper as an apology, but can’t even succeed in doing that because of his rudeness.

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