John Cheever's Reunion

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In the short story, “Reunion,” John Cheever creates a grotesque character in the father to demonstrate how the father’s boisterous and rude attitude alienates everyone close to him.This leads the reader to feel sympathetic for his son, Charlie, who is desperately searching to find a role model in his father, like any other child. Cheever uses humor to bring attention to the father’s grotesque character. Irony is brought to the reader’s attention in the first paragraph when the father is first introduced. He seems like a respectable man. However, through the father’s interactions with waiters and the newspaper man, the reader realizes that there is no correlation between his appearance and his actions. While Charlie introduces his father as…show more content…
When Charlie smells his father the way his mother sniffs a rose (1), the reader has a feeling of purity, and delicateness. The reader believes the father is an admirable man. However, the reader will later learn that the father is in fact the exact opposite. In paragraph one, Charlie says, “I felt that he was my father, my flesh and blood, my future and my doom.” Cheever uses words that have meaningful connotations, making the mood eerie and leaving the reader to feel nervous. John Cheever creates pathos through the father’s interactions. On page three, the father asks to buy the newspaper man’s “God-damned, no-good, ten-cent afternoon papers,” and calls them “disgusting specimen of yellow journalism.” The newspaper man ignores him, and Charlie is ready to leave. Charlie’s father tells him to wait because he wants to anger the newspaper man. The newspaper man shows no signs of anger, however the reader is taken back by the unnecessary aggression of the father and are left indignant. Finally, Cheever makes the reader feel sympathetic for Charlie on page three. As Charlie walks away from his father for the final time, he says “Goodbye, Daddy.” Cheever choses “Daddy” instead of “Father” because the word “Daddy” demonstrates that Charlie desperately wants a father figure, someone he can trust and look up to. The reader feels sympathy for Charlie because the reader now…show more content…
He is an awful man who drinks too much, is loud, rude and obnoxious. He is rude to waiters and the newspaper man for his own enjoyment. He is so inconsiderate of others that he has his secretary set up a meeting with his son after three years of not seeing him(1). This shows that to the father, seeing his son is an appointment and an obligation rather than something he will enjoy. Since the father is such a distant man, the reader feels sympathy for Charlie who only wants a role model. The father’s grotesque character gives the story depth and draws the reader into the life of Charlie. The father’s character is a parody on an ideal mentor. His loathsome character makes the reader despise him and understand why he has no family in his life. In paragraph 1, the father smells of whiskey, and keeps drinking throughout the story. This leads the reader to believe that he is an alcoholic. Not only is this a terrible example to set for his son, but it also explains why his wife divorced him and why he hasn’t seen his son in three years. His alcoholism, on top of his grotesque personality distances himself from his family. By the end of the story, the damage has been done. Charlie, the father’s last glimmer of hope walked out of his

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