John Cheever's The Swimmer Essay

John Cheever's The Swimmer Essay

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The setting of “The Swimmer” is in the suburbs, describing the aquatic adventure of Neddy, an energetic and cheerful father and husband. After attending a cocktail party, he decided that he would swim his entire way home through various swimming pools. Through his adventures, the protagonist makes a great discovery that his marriage life is a great lie. The journey from the cocktail party to his home converts him from a vibrant man to an old impoverished man whose life is in a major crisis. As he arrives at his house, he finds his children and wife have abandoned him. Different settings intertwine to showcase the middle class crisis he was experiencing. In this sense, the setting of the story clearly depicts the ignorance that people have. Neddy for instance has been thinking that he has a happy family, something that even surprises the reader who finds that the protagonist does not come into terms with the new reality of life (Cheever 93).
The significantly fictitious life of Neddy depicts the struggles that most middle-aged people go through. In middle class situations, most parents are always in Neddy's case where they erroneously believe that their economic prosperity is equivalent to their marital success. This is not normally the truth because most parents normally, discover that the more financial success that they enjoy, the more marital problems that they go through. In this sense, there is a similarity between the physical journey of Neddy and the real marital life journey. In his passage through the swimming pools, it becomes possible to establish the clouded nature of Neddy’s memory, which negatively affected his approach to life.
His failure in recalling significant aspect regarding his neighbor exposes the numerous...


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...and oblivious at first. He is not even recognized. Then he is warned, scorned at, and in deep trouble.

Neddy pays no attention to these symbols and becomes "isolated, beaten and finally unaided" (Nydam 15). It is a depressing expedition, but like plunging into a river, Neddy was swept away.

Conclusion
From this short story, the author seems to create a relation between Neddy's swimming voyage and his personal marital challenges. Quite apparent, there is a great correlation between the swimming pool setting and the household of the protagonist.
Therefore, the author desired to create a link between the life of Neddy and the practical life of most Americans who have to go through the challenges of the middle life crisis.


Works Cited


Cheever, John W. “The Swimmer.” Charters, Ann. Story and Its Writer. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. Print.

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