This statement stuns him. The story starts with a town reeling from a collective hangover. Copyright © 1999 - 2020 GradeSaver LLC. Additional details signal the passage of time in what is supposedly a midsummer afternoon: autumn leaves and fall flowers appear, along with the smell of wood smoke and the appearance of autumn constellations in a sky that is darkening too soon. His house is about eight miles away in a community called Bullet Park. When he wanders in among the party guests, Grace Biswanger meets him with hostility, calling him a gatecrasher. Exhausted, Neddy struggles through the last two pools. Neddy arrives home and finds his family gone. Although they complain about their hangovers, for Cheever's suburbanites, the use of alcohol represents the desire for a fun-loving lifestyle and high social standing. At the last few pools he can barely swim and must stop repeatedly, holding on to the side. The narrator says within "the space of an hour ... he had covered a distance that made his return impossible.". The fierce wind "stripped a maple of its red and yellow leaves." Log in here. Approaching the Biswangers' house, Neddy hears a party going on. Once Neddy decides he is an explorer who must set out on an adventure across the county, Cheever introduces elements of surrealism. As Neddy approaches his house, he notices it is dark and the storm has knocked a gutter loose. The swim in the Hallorans' pool has unexpectedly taken a lot out of him: "His legs felt rubbery and ached at the joints." Because it is midsummer, Neddy figures the maple's leaves have turned color early because the tree is blighted. The Swimmer Sj Butler Analysis 871 Words | 4 Pages. However, the ubiquitous hangovers undercut the otherwise rosy picture of life in this beautiful suburb. He swims in their pool and, as he pulls himself out, hears Mrs. Halloran say, "We've been terribly sorry to hear about all your misfortunes, Neddy." Just as Neddy is delayed by the storm, Odysseus's ocean voyage is disrupted by violent storms sent by the goddess Athena. With gusto Neddy dives into the Westerhazys' pool, swims its length, and "hoist[s] himself up on the far curb." The story is based on the 1964 short story "The Swimmer" by John Cheever, which appeared in the July 18, 1964, issue of The New Yorker. He realizes the house is up for sale, and he cannot remember anything about the Welchers leaving the neighborhood. Neddy heads to the house of the Hallorans' daughter, Helen Sachs. What is the time period of "The Swimmer"? These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Swimmer by John Cheever. Most importantly, the people who he assumes will receive him happily to their homes and maybe offer him a gin before he swims their pool now treat him rudely or gossip about some vague misfortunes of his behind his back. However, the action of the story takes only a few hours. As he gets out of the water, the lifeguards yell at him for not having an identification disk. By John Cheeve r. July 11, 1964. One is the course of a single Sunday—the “real” timeline on which the story plays out. Parallels in John Cheever's "The Swimmer" The Inevitable Passage of Time in "The Swimmer" Intersection of Truth and Lies in "The Swimmer" Exhausted, Neddy struggles through the last two pools. Neddy hears thunderclap; the weather cools. Literary Devices. Neddy hurries out of the recreation center, crosses a road, and enters the Halloran estate. Neddy cannot understand why he is being treated this way. Neddy swims in their cold pool and almost drowns in the process. He couples the afternoon's deteriorating and illogical weather with a chill in the welcome succeeding hosts offer Neddy upon his arrival. Only at the very end of the text, in the last line, does he realize the house itself is completely empty. He feels his quest is important and must not be delayed, so he decides "the hospitable customs and traditions of the natives [will] have to be handled with diplomacy if he [is] ever to reach his destination." LEGAL. Course Hero. He does not remember any of the events alluded to—selling his house or a misfortune befalling his daughters, for example. She refuses to give Neddy a drink, telling him she is not alone. What is Cheever's attitude toward Neddy in "The Swimmer" and how does the story's point of view showcase it? Suggest a Title. The Swimmer essays are academic essays for citation. resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Former mistress treats Neddy as a deadbeat, kicks him out. The house, though, remains open, and so Neddy swims a lap and serves himself a drink. Neddy's self-regard—for his physical self and for his position in society—guides the story's progress and Cheever influences the reader's opinion of Neddy by linking him with two well-known mythic protagonists: Narcissus and Odysseus. Learn all about how the characters in The Swimmer such as Neddy Merrill and Shirley Adams contribute to … 4 He asks Helen for a drink. He can't recall exactly when they had an affair, but he knows he viewed it as a lighthearted diversion and broke it off. Terms of Service Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this The Swimmer study guide. Ned’s desire to swim across the county is presented as the quintessence of the athletic optimism that characterizes his whole community. Arriving at the Bunkers, he finds they are giving a pool party.
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