I have made a mood board for John Cheever’s short story “Reunion.” The pictures below focus on a governing theme of the complicated relationship Charlie has with his father and the disappointment Charlie feels throughout the short story. The quotes I’ve chosen will give the reader a better understanding of the atmosphere of the story and the visual pictures highlights the key points in “Reunion.” Also, I’ve included a color to match each of the 4 quotes to further emphasize on how the moods change in the short story.
1.”The last time I saw my father was in Grand Central Station.”
This first sentence of the short story sets the mood for the story. The first part of the sentence, “the last time I saw my father” is said twice in the story and implies that Charlie will never see his father again after this encounter. Initially, Charlie feels anxious to meet his dad because it has been 3 years since he has had any relationship with him. Therefore, I’ve chosen the Lapis Blue to represent the worried and nervous feelings Charlie expresses.
2. “I wish we could be photographed. I wanted some record of our having been together.”
Charlie communicates his desire to be with his father and Charlie has hope that he will rekindle his relationship with his father during the lunch. As the story continues, they don’t have any reunion because they jump from restaurant to restaurant which leads Charlie to feel disappointed. I’ve chosen Greenery to indicate Charlie’s initial hope for the relationship.
3. “Kellner” he shouted. “Garçon! Carneiere! You!” His boisterousness in the empty restaurant seemed out of place”
Charlie’s father demonstrates disrespect to the waiters because he yells at them in an arrogant tone. His actions make Charlie feel uncomfortable because Charlie views the actions of his father inappropriate and out of context. The red displays Charlie’s father’s strength and power.
4. “Goodbye, Daddy,” I said, and I went down the stairs and got my train, and that was the last time I saw my father.”
At this point, Charlie realizes his father will no longer be apart of his life and that the lunch was the last time he will see his father. His father’s actions have proved to Charlie that their relationship will not grow into what Charlie was hoping for, therefore it is best for Charlie to continue his life without his father. The white emphasizes Charlie’s ability to let go of his relationship with his father and move on with his life.
Charlie experiences several feelings throughout “Reunion” which constantly change the mood of the story. The hope Charlie initially feels is quickly turned into frustration and embarrassment from his father’s actions. The colors and pictures emphasize the different stages the story is in and develops the theme of separation Charlie feels.
Cheever, John. Reunion. New York: The New Yorker Magazine, 1962. Short Story.