The ‘Reunion’ is a short story. It’s written by the great writer John Cheever and it was published in 1962 and is a part of his collection ‘The stories of John Cheever’. Cheever’s dad was a salesman, who failed and became an alcoholic, same was Cheever’s uncle. Instead of start drinking Cheever chose to see another way of life and started writing and he became one of the greatest writers in the 60’s. Most of his stories were about middle and upper class men from Manhatten. His short stories became some of the most iconic stories and were about a typical ‘New Yorker’ in the 50’s and 60’s. John Cheever died 1982 in New York.
‘Living with strangers’ was an essay written by Siri Hustvedt. He is an American writer, who writes Novels and essays. She has made several of books, where she collected all of her novels, essays and poems. ‘Living with strangers’ was published in 2002. Siri Hustvedt is still alive and today she’s 59 years old.
The theme in ‘Reunion’ is mostly family issues, the bad behavior from educated people to less educated people and alcoholism.
The ‘Reunion’ Is written in in the view of Charlie, who is the main character in the short story. He is talking about his last time, that he saw his dad ‘The last time I saw my dad’. That means it’s a story told as if it was a flashback, since he is thinking back in the time.
We do not get any exact age of Charlie, but he describes himself as a boy. We know that he’s on a train ‘I was going from my grandmother ‘ I wrote my father that I would be in New York between trains for an hour and a half’. We also know, that his parents are divorced and they’ve been divorced for approximately three years and this was the first time he went to see his dad for three years. The short story is called ‘Reunion’ because of the reunion Charlie and his father is having.
We know that the father is the upper-middle class, he is a well-educated man. You can see that on his behavior and that he has a secretary who writes to Charlie, when they discuss the arrangement. He’s the kind of man, that most ‘kids’ dreams about to be and same does Charlie. ‘I knew that when I was grown I would be something like him’.
As most of his other stories, this one also take places in New York City. The father starts up by trying to impress Charlie. He takes him to the best restaurants in the town, but it doesn’t go very well. He doesn’t really know what and how to talk with his son. The father acts very disrespectful and is very rude to the waiters at the restaurants they’re visiting and that’s probably because of the alcohol ‘I smelled my father the way my mother sniffs a rose. It was a rich compound of whiskey and after-shave lotion’. That is a clear sign on alcoholism if you smell like whiskey. The way he acts annoys and disgust Charlie and he doesn’t want to see him anymore.
The story ends where the reunion took place, at the station. Charlie decides that he never wants to see his father again. That is probably also where Charlies decides to start a new chapter of his life.