Reconciliation inside a family
In Raymond Carver’s short story “Elephant”, the narrator accepts the family members’ flaws and wishes them the best of their lives. This process is called reconciliation. In contrast, Hanif Kureishi’s story “My Son the Fanatic” develops through the conflict between a father and his son. The story focuses on the relationship between them, it’s pretty clear to see a relationship which gradually worsens and is broken down bit by bit. Reconciliation is the constituting cell of a society, and the support source of an individual. However, inside a family, different family members have different personalities and every family member has his/her own narrative. Based on a person’s self-definition, and the understanding of the world, the person constructs the narrative along with his/her own everyday encounters. In Carver’s another story “A small, good thing”, reflects the importance of reconciliation is related to a family. The narratives can be dramatically different among family members under the same roof. The core notion of reconciliation, according to Susan Dwyer, “is that of bringing apparently incompatible descriptions of events into narrative equilibrium.” Reconciliation is the act of bringing back harmony to the endangered relationships, accepting the coexistence, and pushing the family to carry on with mutual understanding. This essay proposes several questions while exploring the reconciliation theme inside a family dwelling. From Hanif Kureishi’s story “My Son the Fanatic”, Raymond Carver’s story “Elephant” and his another story “A small, good thing”, those stories give examples to illustrate the points below. Why reconciliation is needed? What is the basis of reconciliation? What is the outcome of reconciliation? Why reconciliation is needed inside a family? Different family members have different narratives; that is, even faced up with the same reality, each family member has his/her own understanding and interpretation, even...
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