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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 they have missed life’s meaning and opportunities. Authors use symbolism, imagery, and other literary devises to illustrate their anecdote’s themes. Fitzgerald and Cheever use watery imagery, such as the swimming pools and the boat, to convey the themes of their stories, which is, the passage of time and that there is a dark side of the American Dream.
The swimming pools that Neddy, the main character, plunges through as he makes his way home signifies the passage of time. At the beginning of the narrative, Neddy is a “slender man-he seemed to have the especial slenderness of youth-and while he was far from young he had slid down his banister that morning” (Cheever 158). This passage suggests that Neddy is strong and active. As the story progresses, he is still swimming, however, “the swim was too much for his strength but how could he have guessed this, sliding down the banister that morning and sitting in the Westerhazys’s sun? His arms were lame. His legs felt rubbery and ached at the joints” (Cheever 162). The watery imagery can symbolize freedom, which he experiences at the beginning of the narrative, and an emptiness, which he encounters towards the end. For him, it seems like it is getting harder and harder to swim. Once he arrives home from his long day or possibly years of swimming, he is met by reality. Everything he once took for granted is gone. In the next story, “Winter Dreams,” the watery imagery ties in with the usage of a boat.

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