Character Comparison: “The Swimmer” and “Babylon Revisited” Essay

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John Cheever and F. Scott Fitzgerald are both 20th century writers whose story’s thematically reflected the despair and the emptiness of life. In both story’s “The Swimmer” and “Babylon Revisited” the main characters undergo similar problems, although they are presented differently in each story. The subject matter of both stories, pertain to the ultimate downfall of a man. “The Swimmer”, conveys the story of a man who swims his way into reality. He at first is very ignorant to his situation; however with the passing of time he becomes cognizant to the idea that he has lost everything. In “Babylon Revisited” the key character is a “recovering alcoholic”, who return to his homeland in hope to get his daughter back. However, problems from …show more content…

Charlie wants to make everyone believe, even himself, that he doesn’t have a problem anymore. He justifies that he only drinks one drink a day to help him overpower the temptation of alcohol. “It’s sort of stunt I set myself, It keeps the matter in proportion” (Fitzgerald 422). However, the author suggests that he may subconsciously want to resume to his past ways. Both of these characters need to deal with the problems they are consciously or subconsciously suppressing. Moreover, another similarity that is eminent throughout both stories is that the root of their problems is alcohol. Although, in “The swimmer” it is not directly implied, it can be metaphorically inferred through his watery journey. Also by his unwillingness to consciously acknowledge his troubles, that could be an affect of constantly being drunk. In “Babylon Revisited” however, it is much more clearly stated, thus the character has that advantage and can more easily target the problem. He pledge to drinking no “more than a drink a day for over a year—so that the idea of alcohol won’t get to big in my imagination” (Fitzgerald 422). Both characters have similar lifestyles and problems; however the authors chose to present them differently. Although there is much comparison in the main characters, there is also dissimilarity in the characters and the way the author chose to portray them. In “The Swimmer”, Neddy is portrayed as being entirely

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