John Cheever's The Swimmer Essay

860 words - 3 pages

The setting of “The Swimmer” is in the suburbs, describing the aquatic adventure of Neddy, an energetic and cheerful father and husband. After attending a cocktail party, he decided that he would swim his entire way home through various swimming pools. Through his adventures, the protagonist makes a great discovery that his marriage life is a great lie. The journey from the cocktail party to his home converts him from a vibrant man to an old impoverished man whose life is in a major crisis. As he arrives at his house, he finds his children and wife have abandoned him. Different settings intertwine to showcase the middle class crisis he was experiencing. In this sense, the setting of the story clearly depicts the ignorance that people have. Neddy for instance has been thinking that he has a happy family, something that even surprises the reader who finds that the protagonist does not come into terms with the new reality of life (Cheever 93).
The significantly fictitious life of Neddy depicts the struggles that most middle-aged people go through. In middle class situations, most parents are always in Neddy's case where they erroneously believe that their economic prosperity is equivalent to their marital success. This is not normally the truth because most parents normally, discover that the more financial success that they enjoy, the more marital problems that they go through. In this sense, there is a similarity between the physical journey of Neddy and the real marital life journey. In his passage through the swimming pools, it becomes possible to establish the clouded nature of Neddy’s memory, which negatively affected his approach to life.
His failure in recalling significant aspect regarding his neighbor exposes the numerous distractions that his life was predisposed to (Nydam 9). Psychological illnesses or depressions are factors that have distracted Neddy and it is not possible for him to separate his memories and the realities that are surrounding him (Duffy 11). Welcher’s pool being dry establishes a platform that showcases the extent of disruption that he is going through bringing the aspect of the midlife crisis that distracts people lives across the society.
The midlife crises being discusses are experience by those in the age of 40 to 60, with Needy being in this age group. These midlife crises are linked to the period in life when people are generally unsatisfied in the manner they are living their lives (Nydam 9). Depression that is likely to be experienced call for psychotherapy. Furthermore, people at this age group are likely to experience boredom, anger, confusion, unhappiness and a desire to have...

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