Exploring the Midlife Crisis of Upper-Class Americans in The Swimmer, by John Cheever

Exploring the Midlife Crisis of Upper-Class Americans in The Swimmer, by John Cheever

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The promise of American freedom is stirring up the imaginations of people all over the world. Freedom is the idea of the American equalities and a mechanism of success to every individual’s skill and abilities. Freedom becomes a tool of economic prosperity of the American industry that has been a large influence on the American culture since the industrial revolution. Through the years, the technological evolutions distinguish the changes of the American life that increasingly become materialistic. Nevertheless, American freedom is not always consistent with the harmony of power and riches. The past traditional values that are self-sacrifice is currently infer as the quest of riches. The differences between traditional values and individualism, belief and modernization, strength and trouble are predictable before wealth influences the American freedom and life.
During the 1960’s, the middle and upper class is enjoying the prosperity and the material comfort of the postwar era. The American suburbs are growing at a rapid pace. American citizens are becoming more modern than ever before. The liberation of the traditional outlook of the American freedom changes the opinion of the American society by embracing the alterations in dress code, sexual morals, and the respects one’s rights. Therefore, this alteration of freedom in the American society has perfectly portrays in John Cheever’s story, “The Swimmer”. Cheever’s story reveals the disorder mind of the protagonist, Neddy Merrill who describes in the beginning of the story as a young, strong, and athletic man with a financial influence in the upper class society. However, Merrill abuses his freedom that leads him to a weak and broken man who loses his wealth and his family and is...

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...3. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24 July 2014.
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Cheever, John. "The Swimmer." The Northon Anthology American Literature. 8th ed. Vol. E. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. 156-65. Print.
Current-Garcia, Eugene. "The Swimmer: Overview." Reference Guide to American Literature. Ed. Jim Kamp. 3rd ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24 July 2014.
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Wallace, Patricia B. "The United States and The World War." Introduction. The Northon Anthology American Literature. By Jerome Klinkowitz. 8th ed. Vol. E. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. 3-7. Print. Literature since 1945.

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