The Growing Disconnection Between Mother And Son In Coming Home Again By Chang Rae Lee

993 words - 4 pages

“Coming Home Again,” written by Chang-Rae Lee, illustrates the relationship of family, particularly a mother who has stomach cancer and a son who is increasingly distancing himself. This profound short story demonstrates the significance of the connection between a mother and a son. Additionally, it establishes and concludes with the negative consequences of their disconnection—regret.
A main theme throughout “Coming Home Again” is the connection that cooking authentic Korean food brings the mother and son together. This connection became apparent early on when the author mentions that, as a child, he always stood beside his mother while she was cooking so he could absorb her techniques ...view middle of the document...

” (3852)
After the son graduates from Exeter and begins his professional career, he mentions the last meal he cooked for his mother before she died of stomach cancer. He was gloomy at first because his mother was not able to digest the food because of her illness, but sighed relief realizing it was the last day of the year and they were all finally together again. This was the last instance of a direct connection between the son and the mother; she died one week later.
In “Coming Home Again,” Lee states that the disconnection he had with his family, particularly his mother, began a year before the son left to Exeter. He became impatient with dealing with his mother’s cancer, wherein she had trouble doing various household chores and tasks. He felt confined to his family, and even began complaining about his mother’s cooking. There was one instance where his mother asked him to call the bank, but he argued with her before she ran upstairs to cry (3855). Another instance is when the mother noticed that the son was making food without her and mentioned that he forgot to salt the cabbage and squash (3855). He becomes noticeably annoyed while it seems his mother expresses guilt. This attitude of guilt and regret continues throughout his time at Exeter.
From the beginning, Lee mentions his mother’s wanted to send him to Exeter—a boarding school in New Hampshire—in order to change his character and provide him with opportunities (3851). However, shortly after the son began school, she began to regret consequences—the continuation of their disconnecting relationship. One night at dinner during a school break, the mother mentions that she made a mistake sending him to Exeter because he should have been with the family during that time. The mother further states that she did not...

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