“The Chair”

David Means story “The Chair” seems to move along through the main characters head rather than through action. I felt lost in his thoughts, much as I think he is during the day when he watches Gunner. I still don’t know how I feel about the story. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it. It wasn’t until Gunner fell from the wall that I felt the story really move. It made me wake up from his thoughts to concentrate on the action at hand, but by that time the story was almost over.
I felt a loneliness for the main character as his wife drifted further from him and more towards “the pull of the city” where she worked. I couldn’t figure out if it is really her job or another man that keeps his wife Sharon so distant, but whatever it is it leaves only him to figure out how to be the parent. At times it seems that he is unsatisfied spending every day at home with Gunner, but he tells the reader “It’s not that I feel sorry for myself in any way, because I cherish these moments with my boy, delight in being with him.” (page 117) However, I didn’t really get this feeling until the end of the story when he holds his son after he’s fallen and realizes what a “pure love” it is.
The first part of the story was more focused on showing the struggles of a parent. “I relish the line I have to walk between being loving and soft and coddling one second, and the next having to reestablish my command” (page 117). We see him trying not to assert himself too much but at the same time make sure Gunner knows he’s still there.
The story would have had a different effect on me if he had not had this moment with Gunner at the end. It meant so much more for him to connect with Gunner, because it feels as if he is slowly losing his wife.

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October 2nd


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