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...

Find Another Essay On John Cheever's The Swimmer

John Cheever's The Enormous Radio Essay

636 words - 3 pages John Cheever's "The Enormous Radio" In the short story by John Cheever called "The Enormous Radio" it begins with Jim and Irene Westcotts appearing like the perfect American family. Cheever describes them as "the kind of people who seem to strike that satisfactory average of income, endeavor, and respectability" (Cheever 1). What is ironic about this story is the Westcotts are far from being the perfect family and the community they try to

The Swimmer, by John Cheever Essay

1934 words - 8 pages moves on, even if one is not ready. "The Swimmer" is a short story written by John Cheever, a writer who used his own experiences as inspiration for his stories - "Cheever's problems with his parents, brother, wife, alcoholism, and bisexuality have already been outlined in HOME BEFORE DARK, the 1984 memoir by his daughter, Susan Cheever, but Scott Donaldson… goes into more detail about these personal matters while showing how the writer turned the

Good vs. Evil in John Cheever's The Five-Forty-Eight

1310 words - 5 pages Good vs. Evil in John Cheever's The Five-Forty-Eight John Cheever was an award winning American author of the twentieth century. His work often possessed 'psychological and religious vision' with central themes of 'sin, deception, and redemption' (Kennedy, 551). Cheever's short story entitled 'The Five-Forty-Eight' portrays a struggle of good vs. evil. Following the themes of sin, deception, and redemption, we read of a young woman (good

Losing Time in Life: The Swimmer by John Cheever

1579 words - 6 pages period of time, most likely a couple of months. Unfortunately, Neddy is trapped inside his routine and does not realize of the changes around him. For that everything he sees in his suburbs are the same, just middle class houses that all look alike. The story does an excellent job in showing how unaware Neddy is in his own decline. In John Cheever's "The Swimmer," Cheever uses diction and symbolism to express the theme of repetitive human life

Psychoanalytical Criticism of The Swimmer by John Cheever

1854 words - 7 pages In the short story The Swimmer by John Cheever, one of the dominant themes is the passage of time. In this short story time seems to pass as reality does with us unaware of its passing. The main character is the protagonist hero, Neddy Merrill who embarks on a traditional theme of a homeward journey. The scene opens on a warm mid-summer day at an ongoing pool party with Neddy and his wife Lucinda. The pool is “fed by an artesian well with a high

The Lost Generation in The Swimmer, by John Cheever and Winter Dreams, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

662 words - 3 pages “The Swimmer” by John Cheever and “Winter Dreams” by F. Scott Fitzgerald have many elements in common. These stories are about two wealthy men interacting with other wealthy people. As the stories progress Neddy and Dexter search for the truth and the meaning of life. These two literary works fall under the literary movement called The Lost Generation. Finally, at the end of the narratives they are both grieving for themselves and realize that

“Life Will Go On”

1876 words - 8 pages . "Allusions to The Great Gatsby in John Cheever's 'The Swimmer..'" Studies in Short Fiction 26.3 (Summer 1989). Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 57. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 21 Jan. 2014. Byrne, Michael D. "The River of Names in 'The Swimmer..'" Studies in Short Fiction 23.3 (Summer 1986). Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 57. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web

Comparison of The Swimmer and A Rose For Emily

619 words - 2 pages “The swimmer” and “A Rose for Emily” both show the same theme in the way that they both show that the characters cannot face the past. Emily will not face the truth, the fact that her father died. Neddy drinks because he cannot face the past. The act of drinking takes his mind off of the pains he dealt with in the past. The main ideas that are expressed in John Cheever's The Swimmer, is how Neddy lives through a variety of stages of alcoholism

Compare Cheever's mid-life crisis males, Neddy Merrill and Francis Weed. Why or how does Francis survive his period of crisis and Neddy lose all he has been 'swimming' for?

655 words - 3 pages The Mid-life Crisis' of Cheever's Neddy and FrancisFrancis ("The Country Husband") and Neddy ("The Swimmer") both faced a mid-life crisis. They live in the same class of society with similar social expectations. The difference is Francis confronts his problems and comes out even, while Neddy just kept on swimming.When Francis arrives at home after surviving a plane crash he is upset that no one will listens to his story. He tells his wife that

American Dream

1735 words - 7 pages John Cheever's story "The Swimmer," he symbolizes a life journey for Neddy through his determination to swim cross-country through his neighbor's backyard. The event begins on a Sunday with his Character Neddy Merrill at a gathering with friends. The gathering is that of the typical middle class with socializing and drinking without the worries of tomorrow. Neddy is a man who is not content with the American Dream he has obtained, and he is

The Fleeting of Social Status

847 words - 3 pages or why. John Cheever's The Swimmer, examines and reveals this problem through conflicts of attitude between the narrator and the viewpoint character, Neddy Merrill. The narrator conveys the attitude that social status is fleeting through the use of irony and shifts in time. Neddy's attitude, however, is to cling to his social status through denial, over-rationalization and an arrogant sense of invulnerability. The narrator uses irony to

Similar Essays

John Cheever's "The Swimmer". Essay

717 words - 3 pages John Cheever's story "The Swimmer" starts off reasonably enough. The protagonist, Neddy Merrill, is lounging about the swimming pool at the home of his friends, the Westerhazys, when a peculiar thought occurs to him: there are so many swimming pools between his current location and his own home eight miles away that he can literally swim home -- with a few jogs across back yards and intervening parkways. However, what begins as a whimsical

Reader Reaction To John Cheever's The Swimmer

1118 words - 4 pages Reader Reaction to John Cheever's The Swimmer   One of the main ideas that is conveyed in John Cheever's The Swimmer is the way in which life consists of different mental stages and how they each affect the consciousness of the mind. In The Swimmer, Neddy goes through different swimming pools and this represents the different journeys in his life. He progresses from boundless optimism to endless despair as the seasons go by

A Quest In A Degenerating Cycle: John Cheever's "The Swimmer"

780 words - 3 pages conclusion, Neddy is presented with the confrontation of decay in his life. Cheever's purpose in delaying the revelation about Neddy's family and home is designed to show readers the false reality that Neddy has built in his mind.A Quest in a Degenerating Cycle: John Cheever's "The Swimmer"Written by: OCdt Wotherspoonsm0985ENE 110, section 1For: Dr. M. HurleySubmitted: 2 Oct 2009Works CitedCheever, John, "The Swimmer," in Ann Charters (ed), The Story and Its Writer Boston: Bedford / St. Martin's, 2007, 133-141.Baby Names World. Parents Connect. 26 Sept 2009

What Is The Theme Of John Cheever's Short Story, "The Swimmer"?

858 words - 3 pages A River in EgyptLike the famous saying goes, denial isn't just a river in Egypt. On the surface, "The Swimmer" may appear to be a tale of the effects of alcohol abuse or maybe even a characterization of a mental disorder like Alzheimer's. Upon closer scrutiny, however, one discerns that it is denial that allows for the supremacy of the human mind over logic and reason during desperate times. Cheever insinuates that the mind is not only a