Essay on The Effects Of Alcohol On The Swimmer By John Cheever

813 Words Nov 5th, 2015 4 Pages
The Effects of Alcohol in the “The Swimmer” John Cheever’s short story, “The Swimmer”, discloses the vivid details of a man’s distortion of time, which ultimately leads to his unhappiness. Neddy Merrill, young and vigorous man, sets off on aquatic journey by swimming in neighboring pools one to another. As he is swimming in his neighbors’ pools in order to reach his house, he experiences physical and emotional deterioration of his life. Cheevar’s “The Swimmer” reveals the physical and emotional damage of alcoholism reflected through passage of time taking place as Neddy’s journey progresses.
To begin with, alcoholism causes great physical deterioration in Neddy. He starts off his journey as a “youthful slender man…seemed to have the especial slenderness of youth (Cheever 401). Needy was also described to have an “inexplicable contempt for men who didn’t hurl themselves into pool…[and] he never used a ladder [to get out]” (Cheevar 402). He feels happy and comforted when he is served with a drink at the Biswangers’ pool party. However, as his journey progresses in difficulty, he longs for a drink. As his alcoholism yearning manifests, his strength diminishes. At the last pool, he realizes “for the first time in his life, he did not dive but went down the steps [and] climbed up the ladder and wondered if he had the strength to get home” (Cheever 410). Here, it is an apparent indication that alcohol played a factor of the loss of his strength. His decision to consume both…

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