The Swimming Pools And The Swimmer Essay

965 Words 4 Pages
The swimming pools, in “The Swimmer”, represent Neddie’s journey down the road to addiction and the consequences that his dependency has on his life and body. Neddie’s state of mind as he begins his addiction is described, “He had an inexplicable contempt for men who did not hurl themselves into pools. […] To be embraced and sustained by the light green water was less a pleasure, it seemed, than the resumption of a natural condition,” (Cheever, 777). Neddie describes the feeling that drinking alcohol gives him as though he is returning to some raw state of being. The swimming pools themselves are a man-made attempt to provide nature within a suburban setting that is lacking. In the beginning the swimming pools represent the idea of nature to him and the idea that alcohol allows him access to his natural state of being. He states that he holds contempt for men who don’t fling themselves into pools. Meaning that he can’t abide by men who consume alcohol in moderation. At this point in Neddie’s journey those men perhaps seem lacking of substance and he likely finds them artificial in demeanor. Neddie’s progression into the world of addiction is described, “It was his fourth or fifth drink and he had swam nearly half the length of the Lucinda River. He felt tired, clean and pleased at that moment to be alone; pleased with everything. It would storm. The stand of cumulus cloud-that city- had risen and darkened, and while he sat there he heard the percussiveness of thunder again,”…

Related Documents