The Swimmer Essay

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“The Swimmer” by John Cheever Cheever explores the life of Neddy Merrill, a lost soul who has lost everything but yet has created himself an alternate society that is a reflection of his old prosperous lifestyle. Once an egotistical upper class citizen he has now been placed in the position to find his “home” through the familiar archetypes of the quest, journey, initiation and discovery. As Cheever writes this story about the lost swimmer he dives into what has become the lost soul of the upper class through character, situational, setting, and symbolic archetypes. As the longely story of our lot soul begins Neddy has the spirit of a young child; he slides down the banister hitting statues on the buttock on his way down. As he laughs and enjoys a high society pool party drinking his glass of gin a vital archetype of imitation (the ritual) is brought into play that reflects the morals of Neddy. On this Sunday afternoon as they leave church the parishioners and priest utter the words “I drank too much last night,” causing the reader to make assumptions about the role of alcohol in the life of this group of people and whether it affects their religious view or personal decisions. Spiritually, the over consumption of alcohol is considered a sin in many versions of Christianity. On the first Sunday of the month in Christian churches the church takes in the body and blood of the lord and savior Jesus Christ by eating crackers and drinking wine. It can be argued that in the beginning of the story alcohol is considered miniscule and a small part to this story, however as the story progresses alcohol becomes more prevalent and took the role as an important character beside Neddy as the scapegoat, which is the perfect match for the anti-hero that Neddy has become. Cheever reaches out to the common man in aspects of this religion who maybe or know people who relate to

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