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Obsession With The American Dream In John Cheever’s The Swimmer

736 words - 3 pages

For countless years the American dream has been the golden opportunity for every person. An issue that John Cheever created in “The Swimmer,” is the obsession of the American dream. He portrays Neddy Merrill as a wealthy male with a family. Neddy is also a alcoholic and has a mistress he goes too. The story starts off with him being self center by choosing invitations that he wants to go to. He begins to swim through his neighbors pools to get to his house. As Neddy Merrill swims through the pools, it shows how his life is deteriorating into something worst. The author John Cheever shows the dream everyone wants by the lavishing parties with cocktails, big pools and houses, and the invitations that Neddy receives to these gatherings. John Cheever was an alcoholic as well and never received an official education and never graduated college. Some of his stories are based on the average middle class Americans trying to find their specific versions of the American Dream. Neddy Merrill becomes obsessed with his American dream and surely loses everything in the process.
When Neddy begins his long journey back home, one of his friends say how long it has been since they seen each other. This shows that he had been disconnected from the outside world. Neddy doesn’t realize that some of his friends are in great sickness while some of his other friends have moved away. While Neddy begins to realize this he continues on his journey and becomes weaker as he enters more and more of the pools. Showing that he is fixed on one goal by swimming home through all these pools. This is a clear example that he has become obsessed with the idea of better his self image. The time passing also appears slower to Neddy. The leaves are beginning to change pigment color and the temperatures are slowly decreasing. He loses sight on the real world and is focused on the idea instead. The void he is trying to fill within himself is the thought of never giving up and completing his journey.
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