The Swimmer By John Cheever Essay

1154 Words Mar 9th, 2015 5 Pages
In John Cheever’s short story, “The Swimmer”, the author presents several minor themes– each linked to one another. Some of these themes: social status, money, and love, pave the way for the development of the major themes. During Neddy’s journey along the Lucinda River, his encounters with his neighbours coupled with his repressed memories develop the major themes of the short story. Towards the end, as Neddy’s blocked memories progressively become a reality, the central themes – repression and deterioration– are fully understood. The development of the central themes start as soon as Neddy energetically begins his voyage from pool to pool. In the beaming sun, he greets his fellow neighbours and enjoys a drink with them. The author reflects Neddy’s positivity and attitude through his swimming performance; he quickly crosses several pools with excitement and youthfulness. As Neddy reaches the Levys’ pool, however, the author develops the first signs of deterioration through physical absence and weather. Firstly, unlike the previous encounters, nobody is home at the Levys’ residence. This irregularity, coupled with the incoming storm that causes Neddy to seek refuge in the Levys’ gazebo, symbolises a change. As the story develops, this change is seen through Neddy’s interactions and swimming performance. On Neddy’s way to the Welchers’ pool, he finds that the Lindleys’ horse-riding area is overgrown, making him think that they might have gone away for the summer. When he…

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