What could be a possible alternative ending to A Family Supper?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my mind, the most immediate area where there could be an alternative ending proposed would have to be with the relationship between the son and the father.  One of the most critical issues raised in the book is the gap between father and son, within generations.  It seems as if the father has made some semblance of piecing together something that resembles authenticity with how he he asks his son to stay in Japan.  The son's answer is noncommittal, at best.  This would be where an ending could be proposed in so far as the son actually begins to piece together the relationship with his father.  In this ending, generations come together and the theme of understanding how to configure the past in the face of an uncertain and unclear future is present.  The opposite of this could be seen, as well.  The father argues that there " are other things besides work" and with this, the son can become more animated in his drive to piece together his life after Vicki and away from Japan, once and for all.  In this, the realization hits the son that he will never be able to say what he wished to his mother and while his father is making strides to understand a better present apart from the past, the son has more present and future in front of him.  In living his own life away from Japan and his own family, the son might be able to recognize that his own freedom is all that he has and while others might see him in one light, he might be able to see himself in an appropriate one and this could help to make all the difference.  In the end, I think that one of two endings on an emotional level can be present if the son commits to staying with his father, or commits to his own departure and shows a zeal for life that has been missing thus far in his being in the world.