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The Difficult Lesson of The Great Radio "The Enormous Radio" from John Cheever starts with Jim and Irene Westcott who are an average American couple with an average American household. Cheever describes them as middle-aged, having two young children, a pleasant home, and a sufficient income. On the surface they seem to have a perfect life, but underneath this isn't the situation. In the course of the narrative, Irene's imperfections are shown by a hideous radio. The radio was bought to give the Westcott's listening enjoyment, but they then find it can hear all of the neighbors' discussions. Irene becomes obsessed with eavesdropping on her neighbors' discussions, it blinds her from her own issues. It seems as though Irene's life is innocent, and she does a good job of keeping her entire life looking as great as she can. Cheever describes how she selects her living area's "furnishings and colors as carefully as her own" (817). The radio did not fit into her decorations, therefore she thought of it as status "among her intimate possessions such as an aggressive intruder" (817). Burton Kendal said that, "Even before the radio starts broadcasting discussions in the neighboring apartments, its mere existence in the family oppresses the atmosphere" (128). This is a clue to the reader that the radio wasn't only an interruption to Irene's decoration, but an interruption to her life too. As Irene became obsessed with the radio, she "began to feel depressed, rather than delighted as she was" (Giordano 57). The radio disclosed to her the most intimate and private secrets of her neighbours' lives. It revealed the discussions that nobody could share with other people. As Jim asserts to his spouse, "It is indecent. It's like loo...