Dr. Ma. Junithesmer D. Rosales
October 12, 2017
Mother’s Standpoint in “Reunion”
Erlinda V. Kravetz the author of the short story the “Reunion” is a journalist for about 20 years in Manila Times, UPI, AP, and others plus some freelancing for newspapers including the New York Times and other publications, Erlinda Kravetz turned to fiction writing late in her writing career. She directs a fiction writing workshop in Monmouth Country, New Jersey, where she lives with her husband Michael, and periodically teaches creative writing at Brookdale Community College and continues to lead writers’ workshop. She has been at work on a novel and a collection of short stories. Some of her stories have appeared in small literary magazines and anthologies.
Erlinda Kravetz’ short story the “Reunion” has been the object of the choice of the judges, in that, this story won the first prize in PALM Council Philippine American Short Story Contest since its publication in 1989, and, as Marie Castillo Pruden notes, “It is the best story and it is well-written work” (153).
This is the kind of interesting story which you will understand the standpoint or the usual role of a mother inside a family, and common family who deals with misunderstanding to each other, problems that they are facing, issues that sometimes a family experiences, challenges and consequences which they might encounter.
The short story went through with Dita’s husband who was a host about the family gathering that held at his home in Long Island. He is the one who will manage all the things to do, so that the reunion will be perfectly happened. However, his sister Carmela doesn’t feel enthusiastic and excitement about the family reunification and especially to her own mother, they had an issues and a broken-communication to each other. Carmela believes that “every time they get together, something terrible happens” (5). He and his siblings think Carmela is too harsh on her mother, “judging her by American standards and not taking into account her mother’s age and the fact that she new in the country” (6). At the end of the story, the reunion did not happened all along because something happened with her mother in the store. She got caught by a police because she suspicion as a thief and got hospitalized because of fracture injury caused by the officers. Carmela did not go to the family gathering.
The short story tells us about the usual set up of family setting which the mother-daughter and the sibling relationship occur. A family which needs to have strong foundation of love, care, happiness and togetherness and also to have a good relationship that binds to each other. Moreover, this story tells about the standpoint of the mother as the centre of the family. A mother who will do everything to take her responsibility to guide her children and take in account enter their lives to teach and support them with all her heart. A mother who will do everything to stays her family completely. A tough and brave mother who will resist all the pains and sufferings to take care of her children to have stay the connection of the relationship together.
Also, this beautiful composition by Kravetz portrays the different characters in the family, they have different role in the story. As Bienvenido Santos acknowledges that this short story the “Reunion” is an achievement in rendered or dramatic characterization, that it is not easy to do in a short story with many character that each of them coming up alive against a background far away from their original home. He also said that the conflicts, the tensions, the widening gaps of communication within the family, the clash of cultures, the set ways the old and the young’s mystification, sometimes their resentment, rarely their understanding, are portrayed with compassion, also with humor (89).
In “Reunion,” this can be found a positive and refreshing note in the mother’s finding her own self in America’s land strange customs. She doesn’t fit in, she is set in her ways, she disapproves of the lifestyles of others, but she remains strong and is far from defeated by what is going on around her. More than any one else, despite all her problems and difficulties, she is not filled with self-pity and finds her place in her family and her new country. She is the only characters that find interesting and different and who comes alive as a character (Wai 153).
Marie Castillo Pruden explains that “Reunion” is well-paced and sensitive without being mushy. It is practically perfect up to the part when the old woman was wrongfully arrested for shoplifting, which was great. But she found the denouement less than satisfying. Where the author could have gone for the shock value, she chose to stay within the realm of probable (153).
Kravetz uses light words and language that the readers are able to understand the story completely. The theme can also easily appreciate by the reader. The author uses every word in the story with meaning to enhance the piece and to surely understand by the reader. Kravetz set the emotion of the speaker in calm tone to makes it more narrative. As Erlinda Kravetz open the paradigm of the story, she begins her piece by giving a simple introduction and setting out the stage where in the story will takes place then continued to give the main themes of the story. Then ended by the author with a conclusion having a pointed description of the ending of the story.
Brainard, Cecilia M. Erlinda V. Kravetz, Author of Krystal Hut: Stories. Retrieved from.
Briscoe, Leonor A., and Anita Merina. Philippine Short Stories. Quezon City: Giraffe
Books, 1997. 2-13.
Pruden, Marie C. Think Research Journal: Research, Paper Presentation, Literary Work
and Book Review. Baguio City: University of Cordilleras. (1992).
Santos, Bienvenido. The Best Philippine Short Stories. Quezon City: University of the
Philippine Press. 1989. 89.
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
Sta. Mesa, Manila
The Literary Research Paper
(Reunion by Erlinda V. Kravetz)
Jerald C. Secillano
Dr. Ma. Junithesmer D. Rosales