John Cheever 's Reunion Charlie Essay

John Cheever 's Reunion Charlie Essay

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Growing up most, not all, children are impulsive and think that they should everything their heart desires. When they do not get it they become upset, sometimes throwing temper tantrums. These things can be the newest and greatest toy, having a more sophisticated life, or a parent that is estranged. What they do not know is that it is usually for the best when they do not get everything they want. In Reunion and Everyday Use, readers learn that it does not always turn out the way they think it should when they try to reconnect with the past or try to put the past on display instead of honoring it with love.
Sometimes it is best to not try to reconnect with a person who does not make the same effort. In John Cheever’s Reunion Charlie is traveling from his grandmother’s home in the Adirondacks to a cottage on the Cape that his mother had rented. He has a layover at Grand Central Station so he decides to try to meet with his father for lunch. Charlie has not seen his father since his mother divorced him three years ago. The response he got was from his father’s secretary telling Charlie that he would meet him at the information booth at noon and this is the first hint that there is a disconnect with Charlie’s father. When he sees his father he felt, “that he was my father, my flesh and blood, my future and my doom” (Cheever 254). Charlie’s father is happy to see him and laments that he would have liked to take Charlie to his club but it is too far away so they go to a restaurant that is nearby. Upon entering the restaurant, it is immediately clear that Charlie’s father likes to throw his weight around. He yells and claps his hands to get the waiter to come over. When the waiter confronts him about his behavior Charlie’s father tells ...


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...not let Dee take the quilts, because she knows that Maggie will appreciate them more because she learned to quilt from her grandmother and aunt. Dee thinks that to honor the past she has to put these things on display and not use them, whereas, Mama and Maggie know that to use them with love is a better way of honoring their heritage.
When trying to relive the past usually a person will be disappointed. These stories point out sometimes the past should stay in the past and to honor the past it needs to be done with love, not just put on display. People have a tendency to remember things as they think they should be and not as they really were, either because they were shielded from the truth or because they were disappointed with the truth. They want to believe that they should have everything they wanted, but it is not always a good thing to get the heart’s desire.

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