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The Country Husband Essay

1006 words - 4 pages

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are". This quote relates to the short story "The Country Husband" by John Cheever. As the quote states it is very obscure to not become biased towards certain views. John Cheever's attitude toward Shady Hill is candid. He reveals the community by explaining the suburbs, the residents, and their social status. Through this, the reader recognizes that everything is not what it appears to the naked eye. Cheever's attitude toward Shady Hill is reflected through the setting and the behavior of its inhabitants. On the surface Shady Hill is the "ideal" neighborhood. It is upper- middle class suburbia in NYC during the 1950's. The inhabitants are well mannered and educated. They can only associate with a restricted number of people who are in the norm. The key factor throughout the story is that social functions are vital. It dictates whether their status is either prospers declines. Every individual has a house with a white picket fence and a pet playing together with the children on the lawn. All in the neighborhood are friends, altogether attend parties every night, and every single one the kids are friends who attend the same school. Neighbors and particularly Julia Weed, help to prove that social status is crucial to the town. "She went through her morning mail with real anxiety, looking for invitations, and she usually found some, but she was insatiable and if she had gone out seven nights a week, it would not have cured her of a reflective look…The look of someone who hears distant music-for she would always suppose there was a more brilliant party somewhere else". This is a crucial example of how Julia Weed had to be at the pinnacle of her social status otherwise she would be despondent. However, the author purposely shows that Julia has achieved this status with great burden. "I've worked hard for the social position we enjoy in this place, and I won't stand by and see you wreck it. You must have understood when you settled here that you couldn't expect to live like a bear in a cave." The author is exceptionally sympathetic with the community in that he exposes the different opinions of the town. Mrs. Wrightson who is devoted to the town is "the one who decides who goes to the assemblies." She is someone who is envied by many for her power in other people lives. On the other hand there are individuals who detest living in the town such as Thomas Clayton. "What seems to me to be really wrong with Shady Hill is that it doesn't have any future… I don't think that's healthy." The author succeeds in showing the different emotions of the inhabitants living in suburbia. Cheever reveals his own biases toward the town and its lifestyle in a very delicate manner. In...

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