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Hi, need to submit a 1000 words essay on the topic John Cheevers Reunion.

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There is a random, essentially realistic nature to this meeting. The boy (young man) is on a trip from one place to another and has a couple of hours to kill. His father happens to live in New York so he will be a good source of lunch. The reader can probably imagine him/herself doing the same in a similar situation.

The casual nature of this meeting continues with the statement that “he was a stranger to me – my mother divorced him three years ago and I hadn’t been with him since” (Cheever, 1978). This tone to the story sets the realistic elements firmly within its structure, but there are also supernaturalistic tones that are soon set in place. These tones are introduced in the same sentence as the idea of the “stranger” occurs:

The phrase “future and doom” places the story in a different context. In the way of the fairy tale, in which people’s present and future are in many ways set by past misdeeds or good deeds, so the narrator’s fate is set by his father. The casual reunion has turned into a foretasting of the future. The word “doom” suggests that the narrator already knows enough about his father, or at least has heard enough about him second-hand that he knows that future may not be too good.

The rest of the story presents his acute, detailed observations of his father – and perhaps his own future – in the rarefied atmosphere of a brief meeting. The narrator must squeeze as much observation as possible into the short amount of time he has with his father, in order to know what may be within his own personality, ready to develop in the future.

The description of his father is detailed to the point that moves it beyond simple realism. Thus the narrator “smelled my father the way my mother sniffs a rose” (Cheever, 1978). There is a “rich compound” of “whiskey, after-shave lotion, shoe polish, woolens and the rankness of a mature male” (Cheever, 1978). The narrator experiences his father in an almost magic realist sense. like a dog he can distinguish all sorts of different smells on his father.

The rather depressing procession of cafes and restaurants that his father takes him are essentially a kind of concertinaed Quest in the manner of a fairy tale. A modern day quest does not involve dragons, thousands of miles and damsels in distress however, it involves a dismal trip from one dining establishment to another as the narrator’s father insults virtually everyone that he comes across. In the way of the fairy tale, the father takes on various “characters” as they progress through their quest.

Thus he is a patronizing customer with his use of French, “Kellner”, he shouted, “Garcon! Cameriere! You”” and then a pretend English accent, and then Italian. These various characters get the father nowhere, and merely serve to show the narrator what may lie in his future.

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