The short story “Reunion” by John Cheever is a prime display of the marxist lens-view. The father thinks that he is above all of the other people he meets in the story, while this contrasts the son’s view. This is ironic since the son thinks highly of his father. The marxist lens comes into play in this story.
The father thinks he is better since he has an important part in society, while all the waiters and bartenders only serve drinks to the more important.
He is making them seem unimportant to society, and that everything they are doing is invalid. The view of a marxist would infer that the father is giving into the Marxist ways by treating the waiters along what they do as their occupations; not as how they are as people, but how they contribute to society as a whole.
At the beginning of the piece, the narrator is excited to see his father again, ,having not seen him since his parents divorced three years prior.
Divorces were uncommon at this time, which shows that something must’ve been extremely wrong for them to go through with a divorce.
The narrator had yet to see that side of his father, and yet throughout the piece, he slowly watches his father reveal his true self, unwillingly. As the piece continues on, we as readers see the father’s actions, and how he truly is as a person.. This realization is exploited thoroughly through the marxist view.
During the fourth paragraph, the father is speaking to the waiters, although he seems to be aggravated already even at the first restaurant.
“‘Calm down, calm down, sommelier,’ my father said. ‘If it isn’t too much to ask you-if it wouldn’t be above and beyond the call of duty-we would like a couple of Beefeater Gibsons.’” Now here, the father is basically insulting the waiter by making the waiter’s job seem so difficult, and for a simple task to seem overly difficult and too much for the waiter to handle.
This is a prime sample of the marxist view, as the father is treating the waiters with little to no respect. The father believes that they do very little for society except serve those who do make an impact on society, such as himself. The father is one who tries to better society with his job and living. The waiter’s job is just to serve food and drinks, which is unimportant to the society and its change as a whole.