Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Symbolism in the swimmer by John Cheever Research Paper

Symbolism in the swimmer by John Cheever - Research Paper Example The real meaning of the story is revealed through the use of symbolic elements. The Story starts with couples gathered near a pool to get rid of the weariness of the cocktail party which they attended the previous night. Neddy Merril is an athlete who wishes to do extraordinary things. The youthfulness in him leads to do adventurous things like reaching his home by swimming in fifteen pools to the south. As he changes pools his total experiences also change. The story begins with realistic note. The energy of the youth, his power etc adds to the initial exhilaration of the story. The pleasant time and mood of the couples symbolizes the optimism, the swimmer has in his mind at the beginning of the journey. â€Å" It was one of those midsummer Sundays when everyone sits around saying â€Å" I drank too much last night â€Å" (Cheever 1) . Thus the story begins with a realistic note. With the paces of the ‘swimmer’, the mood of the story also changes. In the third paragr aph we see the lovely mood again. â€Å"...the day was lovely, and that he lived in a world so generously supplied with water seemed like a clemency , a beneficence. His heart was high and he ran across the grass (Cheever 515). The readers feel the pleasant mood of the writer and also that of Neddy. The’ light green water ‘waiting for such a swimmer symbolizes the freshness of his mind when he started the journey. The swimming pools that Neddy has to go through stand for the journey of life itself. It is essential for him to be adventurous to ‘swim the country ‘. The destiny of man to complete his life journey to reach the end is very effectively symbolized with the phrase â€Å"‘swimming the country’. Neddy expresses the high level of optimism that he considers himself as a legendary figure. Neddy is running from pool to pool. At Graham’s pool he was a guest to whom they want to give drink and share their mind. The image of happiness a nd blissfulness slowly disappears, and Neddy meets emptiness at Welcher’s house.† the pool furniture was folded, stacked, and covered with tarpaulin. The bath house was locked. All the windows of the house were shut , and when we went around to the driveway in front he saw a For Sale sign nailed to a tree† ( (Cheever 518) . The protagonist begins to feel the loss. It is a fact that he is addicted to alcohol and is living in an imaginary world. But now he slowly faces the reality. He sees the board ‘For Sale ‘. Neddy slowly deteriorates. Cheever uses weak dictions to convey the plight of Neddy. Neddy’s arms were lame â€Å". His legs felt rubbery and ached at the joints ( Cheever 520). The slow movement of the time and the resultant transformation occurs to Neddy, is shown in the words. The mind of the readers also moves with Neddy. The weakness in body and mind is the symbol of his social decline. In the words of Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet; à ¢â‚¬Ëœa montage of Neddy Merrill’s physical and social decline’ is carefully drawn by the writer. Neddy denies the universal fact that disability, both physical and mental, is part of growing old. He is swimming to his own home. But the journey through water symbolizes a kind of escape from the realities he meets in the land. Thus water, in other term alcohol itself, keeps him away from his family and his friends. The different pools he swims across symbolize the

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