Examining Suburbia

974 Words4 Pages
The swinging sixties were a time of change, people began to think differently they were no longer living in a Great Depression. Middle class families began to move their families to the suburbs to find the great American dream. John Cheever examines suburban life and peels back the clean cut image and exposes its deep, dark secrets in many of his short stories. In “The Swimmer“, John Cheever’s short story explores the dissatisfaction and secrets among the middle class white Americans who live in suburbia . John Cheever, a short story writer was born in Massachusetts in 1912. His father lost his business during the Great Depression and his mother “to her younger son’s extravagant shame, owned a gift shop in Quincy”(Wolff, Suburban Suffering). At a very young age Cheever was introduced to alcoholism, his father in despair after losing his job and business, turned to alcohol. After Cheever got kicked out of his school, Thayer Academy at 17,a year later his got his first story published in The New Republic. In 1941 he got married to his wife, Mary and later they had three children, then they moved to the suburbs. As irony would have it Cheever lived in the place he often mocks his many of his short stories, including “The Swimmer”. Although in his stories he seems to ridicule the suburbs he was actually “crazy about the suburbs”(Berger, Living in Suburbia), contradicting just about everything Cheever wrote. His wife later goes on to describe that he wanted everyone’s approval in the suburbs because he came from a bad background. Although at first his family denied that Cheever had a drinking problem, but they later admitted that he was a alcoholic. His children felt he wasn’t a good father and that they were not his main... ... middle of paper ... ....5 (2006): 8-13. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 3 May 2010. Hall, Matthew, and Barrett Lee. "How Diverse Are US Suburbs?." Urban Studies (Sage Publications, Ltd.) 47.1 (2010): 3-28. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 4 May 2010. “Suburb.” Columbia Encyclopedia n.d.: n.p. Student Research Center Web. 3 May 2010. Solotaroff, Ted. "The Cheever Chronicle." Nation 253.17 (1991): 616-620. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 4 May 2010. Stilgoe R. John. “The Suburbs.” American Heritage. Feb/Mar 1984. N.p. Web. 3 May 2010. Kotkin, Joel. “Suburban Development.” Wall Street Journal. 23 Nov. 2007. N.p. Web. 3 May. 2010. Wolff, Geoffrey. “Suburban Suffering.” New York Times. 12 Mar. 2009. n.p. Web. 3 May. 2010. Lemann, Nicholas. "Stressed Out in Suburbia." Atlantic (02769077) 264.5 (1989): 34. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 3 May 2010.
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