Dear Alexandros Essay

1098 Words May 21st, 2013 5 Pages
“Dear Alexandros” by John Updike is an allegorical work of fiction written in 1959. It takes the form of a pair of letters exchanged between two people on opposite sides of the world. There is more than what is shown on the surface of this tale about a Greek boy named Alexandros Koundouriotis who is “adopted” by an American family through a charitable organization by the name of Hope, Incorporated. In this short tale, Updike conveys the difference between lifestyles in the western and northern hemispheres, as well as the innocence of youth, the strain of adulthood, and the therapeutical effect the act of simply writing a letter can have on a man during a point of difficult transition in his life.

The first letter is written to Mr and
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He shows a great deal of respect for the boy and describes his surroundings in a simple, but sweet regard “The sad little trees along the somewhat sad little street where I live now are turning yellow … The pretty girls that walk along the main streets are putting on hats again … [the] streets run north and south so that there is usually a sunny side and a shady side and now people cross the street to be on the sunny side because the sun is no longer too warm.” (55) which, given the nature of the boy, one can only assume is met with great excitement and wonder.

Although Kenneth seems to maintain an amicable relationship with his family, he returns to the topic more than once in this letter. This appears to be a way for the American Parent to ensure that Alexandros knows that although his adoptive parents are no longer together, he is still a big part of their lives and their involvement in his will by no means diminish. He delivers this affirmation with ease; as if it is a statement he is well versed in, given the age and inevitable confusion of his two children. “… Mrs Bentley and Amanda and Richard and I were very happy and to a degree are yet … We will continue to send you the money for which you say you are grateful … I know that [Mrs Bentley] loves you very much …” (56). He speaks fondly of his children at home, regaling that “Amanda now is starting kindergarten and was very excited and will never wear dungarees or overalls anymore because she insists on

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