The Swimmer By John Cheever English Literature Essay

“ The Swimmer ” by John Cheever is a modern-day chef-d’oeuvre that stagily addresses the predicaments of adult male as he losingss friends, regard, household and ownerships while he is obsessed with his enjoyable avocations. The writer in this short narrative phase manages a seasonal clip displacement and shows how the supporter incurs losingss in life while he is obsessed with swimming through a coherent usage of myth and symbolism. The cardinal message captured in this literary piece, is that entire submergence in a individual end may ensue take one into disregarding all the small hoarded wealths which chiefly enrich our day-to-day lives.

This short narrative is inspired by unwritten narrative hence it portend the fabulous kingdom. It is a originative narrative that is informed by a myth with several significance of the human society ; a factor that makes it to extensively touch on the psychic universe. Many literary critics have lauded Cheever for his articulate usage of both pragmatism and surrealism to capture the thematic geographic expeditions of the suburban America ( Fogelman 465-469 ) . Basically, the relationship between felicity and wealth is briefly elevated through Cheever ‘s usage of symbolism and myth.

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In “ The Swimmer ” , Cheever provides readers with a elaborate description of the futility of recognizing a end without clear focal point because, when Neddy begins to swim across the pool, there is a storm that compactly indicates that something is incorrect. Despite being in-between aged, Neddy still wants to retain his young person which is evidenced in his attitude. He believes that he is a vivacious person and that following the handiness of several pools in his vicinity, he can swim place. Sooner or subsequently, Cheever describes how Neddy go haunted with swimming in the flush pools until he reaches in a suburb and finds a dry pool ( Cheever 202 ) . Apparently, after waiting for a storm to go through in a porch, Neddy begins experiencing disillusioned and tired with the whole thought of swimming. Obviously, Neddy is determined to travel on but he does non retrieve the exhilaration he had art foremost in Westerhazy. He so becomes disquieted to happen that another pool is dry. By the terminal of the narrative ; Neddy reaches his place and surprisingly admirations why his house is locked and place deserted. He marvels why his household is non at that place and where they are gone ( Cheever 205 ) .

The experiences of John Cheever have been the footing on which his narrative “ ” The Swimmer ” ” is built. With respect to this, Cheever attended a private academy but could no alumnus due to ejection. He subsequently embarked on a authorship calling where he contributed to a figure of publications that have apparently influenced his attack to composing “ ” The Swimmer ” ” . Consequently, during this period, he worked as a author with assorted publications and supported himself with other uneven occupations by fundamentally composing outlines for the Metro Goldwyn movie studio, an experience that guides the semblance, world and surrealism that is characterized with his narrative “ The Swimmer ” . Later on in life, Cheever served in the ground forces during the World War 1 and it is at this clip that he realized a strong passion for composing. His diversified work experience as a book author basically left him to compose in this absorbing manner of utilizing myths and symbolism in a clear point of position ( Fogelman 465-469 ) .

Flatly, Donaldson ( 395-399 ) postulates that “ The Swimmer ” was written within a historical context. This was at a clip when center and upper category Americans were sing great prosperity. It is plausible to reason that holding survived the World War 1 every bit good as the Korean War around 1945 and 1950 severally, many Americans particularly of the white descent, enjoyed the richness of the postwar epoch. During this clip, historical literatures underscore that the American suburbs grew quickly ; a factor that Cheever used as the scene for his narrative “ The Swimmer ” ( Fogelman 468-470 ) . Consequently, the universe of Neddy as he appears at the beginning of the narrative is characterized to affluence every bit precisely as it was during the station war epoch. The universe of Neddy was in no manner the one in which many American in the suburbs could entree. The civil rights motion was highly active but basic autonomies were still issues of great concern. “ The Swimmer ” is based on the events of the World War 1 and Cheever constructs his secret plan around this historical context.

“ The Swimmer ” is a representative of Cheever ‘s suburban narratives which explore vividly the luster and sorrow of Americans and other nationalities populating within the jobs of a somewhat American suburban area. He brings about this capturing contrast by including swimming pools and cocktail parties in his narrative to significantly lucubrate the trademark of the relaxing and at leisure universe that his characters inhabit. This component portrays “ The Swimmer ” as one of the finest plants of Cheever which he uses to intermix myth and world as evidenced in Neddy ‘s long journey as attempts to swim across the pools of Westchester County. Arguably, Neddy tries to recover his apparent lost vernal life through the physical enterprises ( Donaldson 236-241 ) .

The mythic analogue in “ The Swimmer ” dignifies and enhances the narrative that may hold otherwise been another societal parable focus oning on the darker side of the American dream. Ultimately, this literary piece contains in a great length the societal pragmatism of the writer as pertains to the American experience. Credibly, one could reason that “ The Swimmer ” is a eldritch narrative that transforms a comedy of mode into a fantastical racket every bit good as incubus. Throughout the narrative, the reader is left doubtful of the ambiguity of clip in the plot line because ; an afternoon can apparently go months or old ages and the decision of the narrative presents either the confrontation of Neddy with a glance into the hereafter or still the existent nowadays ( Cheever 206 ) .

In “ The Swimmer ” , Cheever achieves a religious transcendency by uniting the mundane with the mythic. A comparative expression at “ The Swimmer ” with other fables like The Holy Grail or Dante ‘s Inferno, Cheever demonstrates his ability to do the ordinary lives of suburbanites like Neddy to look more religious, fantastical and cosmopolitan ( Fogelman 470-472 ) . These attributes warrants the comparing of “ The Swimmer ” with other fables. In so making, Cheever articulates the belief that literature is a coherent and uninterrupted history to be a minute of aspiration, our battle to be celebrated and an chance for a huge pilgrim’s journey. The darker tone of Cheever ‘s “ The Swimmer ” and his more experimental technique has made this short narrative to captivatingly and successfully transform the realistic inside informations, the myths every bit good as the personal experiences of the writer as respects frights of fiscal and emotional ruin into a chef-d’oeuvre of the 20 first century short narratives.

To be successful in the modern-day society, it is imperative that one remain focused on their ends but unluckily, clip becomes grim and unforgiving in its forward trudge. In other words, there does non look to be adequate clip for human existences to run into their demands of wining with one individual end. The instance is even true with keeping friendly relationships with households and friends allow entirely all that one cherishes. Therefore, this is the cardinal inquiry that Cheever addresses in the short narrative “ The Swimmer ” . Neddy has one mission in life which is to swim. However, the singles in intent comes with a manifold of effects. These are the effects that Cheever adept explores by utilizing Neddy ‘s mission and the annihilating advancement of clip ( Cheever 205 ) .

In add-on, “ The Swimmer ” is regarded as an fable that is about the aging procedure, the diminution and the overall rhythm of life. Fogelman ( 468-470 ) points out that within the precincts of an fable, “ The Swimmer ” appear like a symbolic representation of success and ends through Neddy, events of truth and the generalisation about human being. To compactly suit the categorizations of an fable, “ The Swimmer ” has people, topographic points, an events incorporating more than one significance. As such, the narrative focuses on the sociological facet of the futility of the American dream in the wakes of World War 1 and economic reorganization. This allegorical significance is farther construed to make with the inevitableness of clip as evidenced in aging, physical diminution, the lip service of the upper category and the rhythm of life. In visible radiation of the mythic nature of The Swimmer, the extended usage of societal fables every bit good as fabrications, characterizes Cheever ‘s “ The Swimmer ” to be a concise fable.

The patterned images in “ The Swimmer ” are one of the most challenging facets of the literary facet that the writer has used to heighten this short narrative. As a consequence, these patterned conflations of cardinal images such as swimming, the storm and the journey across pools is symbolic to traveling towards a vision through darkness. For case, “ The Swimmer ” starts of reasonably with Neddy lounging about the swimming pool at a place of a friend. A thought work stoppages him. He realizes that there are several swimming pools between where he is and his ain place. As he resolves to swim across place, the writer uses this image to expose us to the capricious exercising that subsequently becomes troublesome and calls for tremendous battle to win ( Cheever 206 ) .

Furthermore, the rubric of the narrative demonstrates the diverseness of ends and the nostalgic attempts of the swimmer. This image mostly shows the ephemeral accomplishment of Neddy when he manages to swim to his place but the success of life in entirety, as divided by the moral beauty of life is markedly absent in this character because, all his friends, household and other cherish able ownership are all lost. Although there is some confederation between pleasance and societal convention, “ The Swimmer ” out justly warns us against excess therefore ordering that the lone sober attack to life is making things in moderatenesss good stipulated by Aristotle. The nature of human experience spells out the cardinal struggle in this narrative.

Significantly, the worlds of life are associated with Cheever ‘ usage of images of visible radiation and storm. For illustration, when Neddy reaches at Levy ‘s pool, a sudden storm interruptions through with its full furry. Neddy is therefore forced to take screen in Levy ‘s summerhouse as he watches the storm lash the trees. Somehow, when the rain subsides, Neddy notices that the storm had striped of a tree of its yellow and ruddy foliages dispersing them over the grass and H2O ( Cheever 204 ) . Decidedly, Cheever uses the image of storm to convey about the component of interruptions in life. Ideally, we need interruptions from our day-to-day activities. These interruptions are in signifier of vacations or fundamentally holding certain leisure as we relax from our modus operandi. The image of the storm is therefore a system of cheques and balances to avoid human existences from exhaustion or inordinate weariness.

To recap, the comprehensiveness of life dictates that we live a balanced life and avoid over indulgence on one individual facet of our mission. From the waiving treatment, it is apparent that Cheever has used “ The Swimmer ” excessively critically and aesthetically remarks on the richness, lip service and the relationship between wealth and felicity. Through the usage of symbolism and myth, the compulsion that Cheever high spots is the acquisitive and selfish nature of humanity. Neddy concentrates about swimming and forgets approximately everything as respects life-his household, friends and other ownerships. This acquisitive nature is selfish which is today manifested in the individualistic compulsion for power, wealth and even celebrity. Harmonizing to Cheever, if attention is non taken, this compulsion may take to destruction as evidenced in Neddy ‘s loss of household, friends and hoarded wealth. The quality of this narrative as a short narrative is that it is set in the blend of pragmatism and surrealism therefore, it is surreal and pathos facets compounded with is thematic geographic expedition of the life rhythm and the suburban America.

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