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John Cheever's The Swimmer, O Youth And Beauty!, And The Enormous Radio

1873 words - 8 pages

John Cheever Rough Draft
Throughout history, America has produced some of the greatest writers to walk the earth. Novels, poems, plays, and short stories have captivated the American public. No one was better at enchanting his audience than John Cheever. John Cheever wrote many short stories throughout his life. He has been presented with many awards for his works. Cheever was a master of spinning tales about suburban life and other situations he experienced. Some of his most popuar works included “The Swimmer”, “O Youth and Beauty!”, and “The Enormous Radio”. His works were well received by the public and he achieved great fame during his lifetime. However, he also lived a life of hardship and scandal. Even after his death in 1982, Cheever is remembered as one of the greatest writers in American history.
John Cheever’s childhood was riddled with troubles and adversities. He was born in Quincy, Massachusetts on May 27. His father owned a shoe factory, but lost everything in the Great Depression. Cheever’s mother sustained the family through her gift shop. Cheever attended grammar school for seventh and eighth grade and then transferred to Thayer Academy for high school. He was a mediocre student, and was eventually expelled for poor grades. However, Cheever later hinted that this was more likely do to an unnamed rule violation. The experience led Cheever to write his first short story, “Expelled”. Cheever sent “Expelled” into a progressive magazine, where it was noticed by editor Malcolm Cowley. Cheever and Cowley would become close friends and Cowley helped launch Cheever’s writing career. By age eighteen, Cheever had his first short story published in a successful magazine (Bosha).
John Cheever decided to pursue a career as a writer. He lived in New York City and began writing synopses for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to possibly be turned into movies. He also wrote book reviews for Cowley’s magazine. One day, Cowley challenged Cheever that if he could write four short stories in the coming four days, then Cowley would try to sell them. Cheever accepted his challenge and his career as a professional writer began. The New Republic accepted one of them, two more were accepted by The New Yorker, and the last one was published in Parade a year later. The New Yorker became Cheever’s most important connection in his writing career. He even stated that The New Yorker was “by far the richest association I’ve ever had with a publication.” The magazine published over half of his short stories. Cheever met many people through The New Yorker, including his wife Mary Winternitz. He drew inspiration from his life experiences. His time in the army, struggles with money, and life in the suburbs are all reflected in his stories. However, he didn’t write only short stories (Bosha).
Making a living by writing short stories was proving difficult for Cheever. He decided that the solution would be to write a novel. Although at first unsuccessful, Cheever managed to...

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