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“The Swimmer” By John Cheever: A Critical Essay without Secondary Sources

The story by John Cheever "The Swimmer" is about how the main hero is desperately trying to survive in a hostile world. The people living in it are neither ready to understand the reasons for his suffering, nor able to sympathize and help. Being broke, Ned Merrill is at the stage of violent social exclusion, as people believe that success and failure are the product of free individual choice, whereby the person himself is responsible for the failure or success.

Trying to run away from suffering, consciously or unconsciously, Ned creates a parallel reality, as he cannot stand the real world and this dramatically affects his behavior. The story is the description of the day which the main character spends outside the home, alternately swimming in the pools of all the neighboring houses. The action takes place outside the home, which indicates that Ned runs away from reality. The author considers the house as a shelter, a personal space, a fortress and staying outside makes the man vulnerable unable to protect himself. Ned is as a black sheep trying to get along with the flock. After attempting to escape from reality, Ned finally returns home, but finds it empty and abandoned.

In fact, his adventures outside the home are joyless. Unceasing socials that mostly turn jeering from the neighbors, the burden of life's problems make the once energetic and cheerful Neddy tired and aged man. While a joyful summer day suddenly turns into autumn one, Neddy starts to lose his cheerfulness and vivacity of mind. This demonstrates that a significant part of life is already behind. Still, Neddy does not care that the neighbors discuss his failure and adultery. Bright colors of life fade, the water in the pool becomes cool – all this symbolizes the ageing of Ned. He's not the same as before.

But the worst thing is that instead of solving the problem, he takes great pains to escape it. Being unable to cope with the trouble, Neddy loses the last chance to fix it and thus, makes himself, his wife and children unhappy.

Millions of Americans in our society that lead a false life and float through life with half-closed eyes, without recognizing that their behavior is disastrous to their own families. Extramarital affairs, alcoholism, gambling, and debt, all these things gradually erode the relationships and plague the life out.

The story by John Cheever "The Swimmer" is about how the main hero is desperately trying to survive in a hostile world. The people living in it are neither ready to understand the reasons for his suffering, nor able to sympathize and help.

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Assignment ID
100001033
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CREATED ON
August 27, 2016
COMPLETED ON
August 28, 2016
Price
$19
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December 2, 2016
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