John Cheever's The Swimmer, O Youth and Beauty!, and The Enormous Radio

Powerful Essays
Throughout history, America has produced some of the greatest writers to walk the earth. Novels, poems, plays, and short stories have captivated the American public. No one was better at enchanting his audience than John Cheever. John Cheever wrote many short stories throughout his life. He has been presented with many awards for his works. Cheever was a master of spinning tales about suburban life and other situations he experienced. Some of his most popuar works included “The Swimmer”, “O Youth and Beauty!”, and “The Enormous Radio”. His works were well received by the public and he achieved great fame during his lifetime. However, he also lived a life of hardship and scandal. Even after his death in 1982, Cheever is remembered as one of the greatest writers in American history.

John Cheever’s childhood was riddled with troubles and adversities. He was born in Quincy, Massachusetts on May 27. His father owned a shoe factory, but lost everything in the Great Depression. Cheever’s mother sustained the family through her gift shop. Cheever attended grammar school for seventh and eighth grade and then transferred to Thayer Academy for high school. He was a mediocre student, and was eventually expelled for poor grades. However, Cheever later hinted that this was more likely do to an unnamed rule violation. The experience led Cheever to write his first short story, “Expelled”. Cheever sent “Expelled” into a progressive magazine, where it was noticed by editor Malcolm Cowley. Cheever and Cowley would become close friends and Cowley helped launch Cheever’s writing career. By age eighteen, Cheever had his first short story published in a successful magazine (Bosha).

John Cheever decided to pursue a career as a writer. He lived in ...

... middle of paper ... of money and the closeness of death. Cheever is not afraid to stir up his readers emotions and uncover the depravity of human nature (Parsel).

John Cheever was a mastermind of irony, drama, and depth. Cheever was able to create stories that not only entertained readers but also made them think. He has received numerous awards for his writing and is considered one of the greatest American writers in history. Cheever wrote stories that drew from his life experiences. He accurately depicted life in the suburbs during the 1960s through his tales of folly and scandal. Cheever’s writing extended beyond just that of short stories, and he had several successful novels. Although he was not always well received by critics, his writing was some of the best of the time. Cheever’s death in 1982 signified the death of a great chapter in the history of American literature.
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