Criticism: The Swimmer, An Annotated Bibliography

817 Words4 Pages
Quentin Anthony
Eric Vithalani
ENG 112-12
The Journey and Realizations of an Alcoholic: An Annotated Bibliography Improper use of alcohol may cause one to be in denial or unwilling to face their tragic reality, and may present unique challenges in trying to cope with loss.
Barnhisel, Greg. “Criticism: The Swimmer.” Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997. 288-290. Print. During my time researching this topic, a wise instructor who shall remain nameless, advised the entire class to look inside a research resource titled Short Stories for Students, and it was in this book that I stumbled into this piece of criticism which gives more insight into a more rational interpretation of “The
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For this brief excerpt alone, I felt that I needed to use this criticism to help validate my stance on the role that alcohol plays in Cheever’s brilliant short-story, “The Swimmer”. Greg Barnhisel is assistant instructor, as well as, assistant director of the Undergraduate Writing Program at the University of Texas, and as such, I feel that his opinion on “The Swimmer” is extremely credible and will help me to provide better insight into the denial components of Neddy’s mental psyche.
Bell, Loren C. “‘The Swimmer’: A Midsummer’s Nightmare.” Studies in Short Fiction 24.4 (Fall 1987). Rpt. In Short Story Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 57. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 19 Oct. 2015. While looking at some of the Works Cited pages for scholarly articles that I did not decide to use, one author kept appearing time and time again, Loren C. Bell. I eventually located this critical essay, and upon examination I discovered that Bell somewhat agreed with my opinion, even if only for a moment, of the role that alcohol could play in the unwillingness of how one may want to perceive their reality. Bell attributes
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Bell goes on to surmise that because of this over-consumption of alcohol, Neddy Merrill has no other choice than to literally fall asleep into a dream-like state before engaging on his quest. With this premise, the author equates “The Swimmer” , to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Bell also briefly talks about how Neddy does not want to face any potential life-altering, happiness-shattering truths about his life, just like an alcoholic who is unable to accept that the life that they once knew is gone. It is because of this comparison that I felt I needed to include this essay, and the fact that this essay has been referenced in so many other critiques on “The Swimmer”, can only strengthen my argument as well as support Bell’s credibility, and I will use it to show how misuse of alcohol may cause one to struggle with loss and acceptance of their situation.
Blythe, Hal; Sweet, Charlie. “Perverted Sacraments in John Cheever’s ‘The Swimmer.’.” Studies in Short Fiction 21.4 (Fall 1984). Rpt. In Short Story Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec Vol. 57. Detroit: Gale, 2003 Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 Oct.

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