The Swimmer By John Cheever Essay

832 words - 4 pages

English Lit
2/3/10
Professor Early

Liquor plays a key role in the life of Neddy Merrill. John Cheever’s short story “The Swimmer” seems to be an elaborate personification of the stages of inebriation and memory suppression. In the pages of this novella-turned-short-story we see the continuing decline of the world through the eyes of the inebriated. In his various stages of drunkenness, Merrill’s surroundings mutate from friendly and realistic to harsh and surreal.
Cheever himself, during the creation of “The Swimmer” was an alcoholic, which critics have noted, set a darker tone upon his work. We see elements of this in Neddy himself who has a minimum of five drinks during the time of ...view middle of the document...

At one point it is even necessary for him to cross a riding arena, though the horses are nowhere to be found. “The gravel cut his feet but this was the only unpleasantness”(68). The plot wears on and, and the woes of Neddy Merrill become steadily deeper than the pools he swims through.
“It would storm… It was suddenly growing dark” (69). The storm comes on both a metaphorical and physical level. As he weathers the rain in a gazebo and makes note of the lanterns Mrs. Levy had bought in a Kyoto Ned discovers he cannot recall how long ago she had bought them.
Copious consumption of alcohol continues, the story becomes more and more muddled. Shortly after he passes his halfway point, his neighbors become more rude, Ned becomes less sure of his abilities. The world is more confusing than blissful as it was only a seemingly short time ago.
It is near this point that the regular intake of liquor seems to be severely impairing Ned’s memory. Upon reaching the residence of the Hallorans he is greeted with sympathy for his financial and family troubles of which Ned himself is unaware. Has he unknowingly blacked out for an extended period of time in the style of Rip Van Winkle?
Neddy soldiers on to more houses, one of which has a drained pool and a ’for sale’ sign posted in...

Other Papers Like The Swimmer by John Cheever

Paradaise Lost By John Milton And The Divine Comedy By Dante Alighierie

2585 words - 11 pages INTRODUCTION It has been commonly accepted that John Milton is acquainted with Dante Alighieri who has a great influence on Milton’s epic Paradise Lost. The significance of The Divine Comedy for Milton lies especially in Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio. Scholars1 have quoted plentiful echoes of Dante throughout Milton’s works, and have compared these two great poets for centuries. In the 19th century Mary Shelley employed a cluster of images and

The unimportance of John Proctor's confession in "The Crucible" by Authur Miller

544 words - 3 pages John Proctor's confessions came way too late. Any reader of "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller had to wonder if the confession would ever come. He thought he could get rid of all the controversy without letting the public know of his affair with Abigail Williams. Proctor tried everything trying to save his reputation. He finally realized how important it was that the let the truth out no matter the consequence. The only problem was that he waited

A Comparison on These Two Poems – ‘First Love’ by John Clare ------------------------------------------------- and ‘the First Day’ by Christina Georgina Rossetti

2252 words - 10 pages ------------------------------------------------- Write a comparison on these two poems – ‘First Love’ by John Clare ------------------------------------------------- and ‘The First Day’ by Christina Georgina Rossetti - . Both John Clare and by Christina Georgina Rossetti choose to work within the constraints of a given form, as poets enjoy the technical challenge as well as the discipline. However, some people believe that this restricts

"Winter" By John Marsden. Discuss The Theme Of Personal Growth In The Story. How Does This Affect Winter?

1060 words - 5 pages personal growth the main theme in this book. The events started by Winter coming home, end happily, as does the her own path of personal growth and development. Through being able to make new relationships, trust others and move on, Winter grows from a rather sad and grieving being to a person ready to move on and live a new life in Warriewood. Bibliography: Marsden John, 'Winter', Publisher- Scholastic Published Date- 2002

An analyzation of the symbolism and imagery in "Flanders Fields" by John McCrae.(World War One poem)

531 words - 3 pages almost every soldier that has pass on. This is the first line in the poem that represents the multitude amount of soldiers killed and buried during the war, which brings realism and sadness into the stanza.In conclusion In Flanders Fields by John McCrae is characterized by its symbolism and imagery which help to convey the meaning of the poem, and also helps set the melancholy tone to the poem.

The Pearl By John Steinbeck

1119 words - 5 pages Kino, Juana and their infant son Coyotito live in a modest brush house by the sea. One morning, calamity visits their home when Coyotito is bitten by a scorpion. With hopes of protecting their son, Kino and Juana rush him to the doctor's clinic in town. However, when they arrive at the gate, they are turned away because they are poor natives and not paying customers. Later that same morning, Kino and Juana take their family canoe out to the

A Separate Peace: By John Knowles In A Separate Peace By John Knowles, The Story Takes Place During A Time Of War, But At Devon, An Exclusive New England Prep School, Two Friends Face A Greater War...

1723 words - 7 pages Untitled In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the story takes place during a time of war, but at Devon, an exclusive New England prep school, two friends face a greater war of their own. Gene Forrester is an introvert, much unlike his best friend and roommate Phineas, who he is intensely jealous of. Finny is friendly, loving, and popular. Throughout the novel Finny is portrayed as Gene's enemy; however, Gene's real enemy is

John Stuart Mill: On Liberty The Nature And Limits Of The Power Which Can Be Legitimately Exercised By Society Over The Individual

1553 words - 7 pages Liberty for John Stuart Mill is defined as "the nature and limits of the power of which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual". Mill argues that society can only use authority over behaviour that harms others; anything else is an end of human freedom. He links liberty to the ability to progress and to avoid social inactivity. Free discourse is a necessary condition for intellectual and social progress. The only time humans

"The Winter Of Our Discontent" By John Steinbeck

967 words - 4 pages predatory and the old ways as its prey. Apparently, if the old does not soon adapt then it will soon succumb and be overtaken by the new.Poor Ethan also finds problem regarding his work. The Hawleys, once one of the most prominent families in New Baytown, owing at least half of the town's land, now find themselves average or perhaps below average, due to Ethan's father's financial inabilities. Ethan later finds himself providing his family with

Read The Poem 'Ode On A Grecian Urn' By John Keats

1720 words - 7 pages 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' is a delightfully reflective, lyrical poem, which contemplates the beauty of static art with the transience of life. Although initially we revel in the enchanting charm of the urn depicted we understand that art is eternal in its moment of emotion, and what it gains in its infinite life it also looses with the lack of motion of it being fixed. By looking at the intricate poetic language Keat's chooses for this ode we are

The Dream Of Lennie And George - "Of Mice And Men" By John Steinbeck

1003 words - 5 pages , Crooks was surprised by the possibilities of the American Dream. Crooks claimed that "I seen hundreds of men come by on the road an' on the ranches, with their bindles on their back an' that same damn thing in their heads . . . every damn one of 'em's got a little piece of land in his head. An' never a God damn one of 'em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever'body wants a little piece of lan'... Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land

Related Essays

The Pearl By John Steinbeck Essay

674 words - 3 pages Daniel Bach 11/24/09 Mrs. Vigliotti English 9H The Pearl, By John Steinbeck Essay Test The Pearl, by John Steinbeck is a novel written about Kino, a young pearl diver from La Paz. When Kino finds himself a magnificent Pearl, his life is entirely altered. He is soon consumed with greed and fear that the pearl will get taken from him. Throughout the book his desire for a lavish

Symbolism In The Chrysanthemums By John Steinbeck

736 words - 3 pages Symbolism in The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck At first glance John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums' seems to be a story of a woman whose niche is in the garden. Upon deeper inspection, the story reveals strong symbolisms of children, vulnerability, and connection--being the most important, of the main character. Elisa Allen is the main character who is at her strongest and most proud in the garden and weakened when she becomes

The Unredeemed Captive, By John Demos

2682 words - 11 pages to war with the French in 1745, she made several brief visits to New England. Historical evidence indicates that the captives from Deerfield were not the only ones to become "Indianized." In his Letters from an American Farmer, J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur notes that thousands more European children that were captured by the Indians have either forgotten their true parents entirely or refused to follow them. Many adult European captives

Animal Imagery Used Throughout The Pearl By John Steinbeck

944 words - 4 pages John Steinbeck in his parable-like novel The Pearl embraces the dark power of greed, which ultimately results in destruction. Kino, a simple Mexican pearl diver who provides for his wife Juana and baby boy Coyotito, finds a pearl, which he hopes will provide his family a better life, but instead shatters his life when his only child is killed by the men who are hunting him. Using a biblical style, uncomplicated language, and rich imagery