Themes

Family dynamics

The short story “Reunion” by John Cheever explores the theme of family dynamics. The story focuses on the main character Charlie’s failed reunion with his father. 

Charlie has high hopes and expectations when he meets his father, and he clearly misses him and craves his presence: “as soon as I saw him I felt that he was my father, my flesh and blood, my future and my doom” (p. 1, ll. 10-11). Charlie is also somewhat aware of his father’s shortcomings but looks forward to the meeting nevertheless: “I hoped that someone would see us together. I wished that we could be photographed. I wanted some record of our having been together” (p. 1, ll. 17-19).

Throughout their reunion, Charlie silently changes his mind and realizes that his fath...

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