In the short story “The Swimmer” by John Cheever, the main character Neddy, is at a friends’ house, but decides to take a new route home. Neddy wanted to swim home by going through numerous neighboring backyards. It was an 8 mile swim home for a man who never did anything for himself. All he ever did was inherit money. it is Neddy’s delusional arrogance and not his loss of wealth that leaves him lost and alone at the end of his journey. Neddy thinks arrogantly about his life and his friends as he plans his journey at the Weterhazy’s. Neddy seems delusional throughout the entire story traveling his journey to the public pool and the Hallorans. After losing his family and friends,
“The Surfer,” by Judith Wright is a poem about a young, tanned, strong man surfing in the ocean. In the middle of the poem the tone warns the surfer of the looming danger of the changing sea. With the author’s specific use of diction, structure, metaphors, personification, and symbolism, the poem begins with the thrillingly surreal weightlessness as a surfer stands on the surface, to the mysterious dangerous side of the ocean. The purpose of the poem is to convey that although some things can be enjoyable they can also be dangerous, in this case the ocean.
Neddy’s strong will of swimming across the county is a reflection of The Hero’s Journey. During his long road, there are many times when he questions himself with the meaning of the journey. In spite of his hesitation, Neddy still adheres to his initial purpose--swim back home. This decision is made due to the Call to Adventure from the beautiful midsummer Sunday. Yet later Neddy begins to feel tired of the journey when he approaches the stage of Crossing the Threshold--“a maple of its red and yellow leaves” (Cheever 730), which indicates the coming of autumn. As the season changes, he is growing old and is no longer the young man who “seemed to have the especial slenderness of youth” (Cheever 726). The sign of age forces him to hesitate, “Why was he determined to complete his journey even if it meant putting his life in danger? At what point had this prank, this
In her poem, The Swimming Lesson, Mary Oliver uses the story of her first time swimming as a metaphor for a life lesson on adapting to new situations. She does this in a detailed, significant manner, using different techniques. These methods pull you into the story, making you ponder about the structure and the deeper meaning of the poem. Firstly, one of these strategies is when Oliver exaggerates parts of the experience. A time when she exaggerates an event that took place, was in the beginning of the paragraph. “Feeling the icy kick, the endless waves. Reaching around my life.” (Line 1). Oliver puts emphasis on the feeling of swimming for the first time, leaving a vivid image in your head of what she experienced
The Swimmer by John Cheever was published in 1964. The short story show the reader the emptiness many experienced during the mid-century white flight. The Swimmer gives a view into the life of Ned Merrill, an affluent suburban man’s life. Cheever uses symbolism, imagery, and tone to convey the theme of narcissism and suburban emptiness during the 1960’s.
In the short story “ The Swimmer,” John Cheever expresses the idea that Neddy Merrill can lose everything if he denies reality. Cheever achieves this by employing various symbols during Merrill's cross county journey. The main symbols are the weather and seasons. Cheever uses the changing of seasons to distort the character’s sense of time and show the progression of Merrill’s life. In the beginning of the story the setting is described as a midsummer day and by the end of the story, Merrill is able to see the constellations of late autumn, meaning winter is near. The illusion of time allows the reader to understand the extent of Merrill’s state of denial, as his beliefs begin to contradict the reality around him. While Cheever uses the weather to describe how Merrill feels. When it is warm Merrill feels happy and youthful. However, when it becomes colder Merrill begins to feel weak and sad. To emphasize Merrill’s state of denial, Cheever employs the motif of alcohol in “The Swimmer;” the reader notices that when Merrill is presented with a reality that he deems unpleasant, he uses alcohol to enhance his state of denial. Through the critical lens of New Historicism, the reader can infer the author’s purpose for writing “The Swimmer” is to criticize the lifestyles of affluent people in the 1950s and early 1960s. Cheever focuses on the party lifestyle of affluent communities and how the use of alcohol allows them to deny the reality around their current misfortunes.
In “The Swimmer” by John Cheever, he symbolizes Neddy’s drinking problems as swimming pools. Neddy then realizes that it wasn't just wasn't one summer day that he swam, is was an illusion to his drinking problems that lasted a span of six months to a year. He realized when he got home that it had been empty for many years and that he has been in his own world for quite some time now. Through the use of symbolism of swimming, the seasons, and nudity, Cheever coveys that life is too short to let time pass by without having your priorities
Cheever’s usage of symbolism with the swimming pools and the round character greatly demonstrate the main theme of “The Swimmer” that indicates how life does change and will continue to inevitable do so no matter how much one may try to ignore it. Cheever also uses the consumption of alcohol throughout the story to symbolize Neddy’s unhappiness. Neddy’s desire for a drink grows stronger throughout the story especially when he is feeling weak and miserable which shows the true emotional state that he is in. According to Dr. Mark Jacob, “30 percent to 50 percent of people with alcoholism, at any given time, also are suffering from major depression… while alcohol often causes a good mood at first, it is a depression-causing drug.” The signs of alcohol abuse and the descriptions of the weather changing from summer to fall as well as the storm that passes thru are all symbolic examples representing the various circumstances in Neddy’s life. Neddy once felt full of life and was only concerned about his own happiness. Once the storm appeared in the story the character suddenly felt lonely and was never the same for he only felt coldness from that moment on. Time is passing much more quickly as Neddy’s journey progresses. Cheever finishes the story by having the round character realize that his life is coming to an end when he
Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, once declared “Lost time is never found again.” This quote ties to the meaning of how people frequently let time seep through their hands. John Cheever’s "The Swimmer" portrays this through the eyes of suburban man Neddy. Neddy is the average ‘Joe’ of most suburban households. Life in suburbia is repetitive in most scenarios, and humans can easily get lost in the monotonous adventure known aslife. Time leaks away from his figure, and he is not sure of he is the one changing too fast, or the world around him. "His main themes include the duality of human nature: sometimes dramatized as the disparity between a character's decorous social persona and inner corruption" (Kozikowski) supports this cause.
Tim Winton’s short story, ‘The Water Was Dark and it Went Forever Down’, depicts a nameless, adolescent girl who is battling the voices inside her head along with the powerful punishments at the hands of her inebriated mother. The key concerns of life and death are portrayed through the girl’s viewpoint as she compares her life with her sad, depressed mother. Anonymous as she is, the girl constantly makes an attempt to escape the outbursts, that come as a result to her mother’s drinking, by submerging herself into the water. An extended metaphor is used when expressing the girl as a machine and her will to continue surviving in her sombre life.
This is an effective metaphor as water-skiing brings about a great sense of joy and is fun, just as reading a poem – in Billy Collins’ opinion – should be.
For this essay, I am going to be discussing the short story “Swimming” found on the New Yorker, and written by T. Cooper. I have chosen this story for many reasons, and among those reasons is the personal sadness I felt when I first read the story, almost as if the universe was placing a certain theme in my life, that only the main character could possibly understand. I am talking about running, the god given instinct felt by all men, inherent in the nature of fear, and brought out in all who feel sadness in its full intensity. Though in my short life I can not compare the sadness I have felt with that of losing a child at my own hand, but if I had been placed in that situation, if fate had tempted my soul with such a sequence of events, I would like to think I could find the strength to endure and the courage to not abandon all I had previously known. Yet I am able to reconcile the themes of grief, the mode of recovery, and the longing to escape such a terrible tale. I think in this piece, as I will discuss in later parts, the author was able to put into words a transformation we rarely get to observe in closeness, the kind of transformation that turns a kind man into a “just man” the kind of death that turns this world from a beautiful and happy place into a world that is closing in on our main character, that is forcing him to surface temporarily and gasp for air, much like he does when he finds peace in the water, wading breath after air, after sea. I firmly believe that
Adrienne Rich uses many poetic resources in her poem "Diving into the Wreck." In this poem a diver goes on a trip to investigate a shipwreck in the socially accepted schema. Rich shifts the role of the hero and the strategy for success in her second schema. In the second schema the hero goes on a journey where she discovers her true identity, both female and male.
In the novel Swamp Angel the main character, Maggie, asserts that "swimming is like living , it is done alone". This is, in fact, a very telling statement with respect to the life of both Maggie and the life of Dunstan, the main character in the novel The Fifth Business. Maggie's comparison of life to swimming raises interesting points about the way in which each of the two characters proceed along the road of life.
Competitive, this is the imagery that this poem is creating and the reason why the author did this is to show us how competitive this swimmer is. This swimmer is in a race and he wants to win, the author shows us that the swimmer was well trained and ready for this. The author uses many imagery in his poem and it lets us picture in our head what is going on. When you read the poem you picture everything, nothing is a blur and you know what exactly is going on in this poem. To me it was like watching the whole thing in my head while I was reading it, without the imagery the author put in I would understand a thing about what was going on. “He flips, converts, and is gone all in one. We watch him for signs. His arms are steady at the catch, his cadent feet tick in the stretch, they know the lesson well.” In these two sentences you can picture what is going on, and in these two sentences the author shows us again how good of technique this swimmer