Theswimmer Johncheever Essay

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Name Class Professor 13 October 2009 The Swimmer by John Cheever For this assignment, this student has decided to focus on the discussion of the personal conflict that Neddy Merrill is experiencing in John Cheever’s The Swimmer and on how this conflict was affected by his environment as well as how it impacts the theme of the story. For a brief overview, The Swimmer tells the story of Neddy Merrill who, at the start of the story, was attending a cocktail party in one of the houses in his neighborhood. His attention was caught by the gleaming swimming pool and was suddenly struck by an idea that he could “swim his way home” (Cheever 246). Soon enough, readers find Neddy in various houses, swimming in their pool. During a storm, one o0f the houses has their pool empty. This became the turning point because Neddy was able to realize that something was wrong in his life. From then on, swimming became more difficult and the neighbors became more hostile towards him. There were also a lot of incidences among households and families which Neddy could not remember. The story ends with Neddy finally coming home to an empty house, wondering where his family had gone. Based on this story, one is able to see that the suburb is an upper-class community. All houses have pools and all people have basically the same attitudes: they love to throw cocktails and they are very accommodating. However, there have been glimpses in the story as to what really happened to Neddy’s family. Although it was not stated directly, it appears that Neddy’s family left him. Since he is the only one in the community who has broken the “norms”, his neighbors and friends soon became hostile to him. From this, one is able to see clearly that Neddy’s personal conflict which is not being able to remember things and opting for an “unusual task” like swimming his way home have been influenced by

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