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The Monotony Of Life In The Swimmer, By John Cheever

812 words - 4 pages

Throughout the story, John Cheever uses the the literary device of symbolism to illustrate the theme of a cyclic human experience that erodes away every day. Throughout the story "The Swimmer," Cheever uses this device to represent a plethora of symbols. For example, the main and initial symbol perceived in everyones minds are the aqua swimming pools. While wasting the day drinking at his neighbors house, he has an epiphany to swim through all the pools on the path back home. Before this however, the main character, Neddy, complains about the days where everyone just moans that they drank too much last night. The day is tedious, and nothing out of the ordinary occurs on the horizon. Neddy's ...view middle of the document...

Neddy swims through pools for what seems like a couple of hours, but in reality it’s been a couple of years. Analyzers of this short story, Blythe and Sweet mention that “His odyssey takes place not on a particular midsummer Sunday afternoon, but over the course of a few years' worth of Sunday afternoons in which he repeats the essential pattern of his suburban life” (Blythe & Sweet). Now over these years, changes occur, such as the weather modifying. The weather gets chillier, the winds get violent, and the “Red and yellow leaves become scattered on the lawn” (Cheever). However, Neddy doesn’t realize the full effects of the weather changing in a mere split second. Neddy does not realize how he is going insane, he does not realize his physical decline, nor does he recognize how each pool he swims through is a few months. He is so caught in the fact in his routine of swimming, and meeting the owners of the house that he doesn’t take time to think about himself. Neddy does not take time to pay attention to the leaves getting darker and falling to the ground.
Neddy’s life as seen by an outside perspective seems fine and dandy. Neddy has a lovely wife, Neddy has lovely daughters,...

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