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The Swimmer | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about John Cheever's The Swimmer. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

the-swimmer-john-cheeverThe Westerhazys’ poolIn a buoyant mood, Neddy starts his journey home.The Bunkers’ poolNeddy gets a quick drink and swim at a pool party, where he is fondly welcomed.Shirley Adamss poolAngrily rebuffed by his former mistress, Neddy feels something is wrong.In a wealthy suburb, Neddy Merrill travels from a friends house to his by swimming in a series of neighborhood pools. Neddys excursion starts as a fun adventure but gradually takes on a darker, more nightmarish quality as the emptiness of his life is revealed.Journey throughan Empty LifeOVERVIEWNeddy MerrillDeluded man; apparent success changes into emptinessMain CharactersEnid BunkerEcstatic aboutseeing NeddyMrs. HalloranMatter-of-fact about seeing Neddy; mentions his misfortuneGrace BiswangerAngry at Neddy;indicates his social standing has fallenNarratort was one of those midsummer Sundays wheneveryone sits around saying, “I drank too much last night.”HomeAn exhausted, older man, Neddy trudges to his home, only to find it empty.ThemesFRIENDSFRIENDSFORMER FRIENDSFORMER LOVERSBorn in New England, Cheever moved to the New York suburbs after World War II. Known as the Chekhov of the suburbs,” Cheever used his understanding of humans to bring drama to his stories. The Swimmer” combines reality and fantasy to expose the ruination of a suburban mans life.JOHN CHEEVER1912–82The Swimmerby the NumbersPages of The SwimmerCheever distilled into the short storySwimming pools Neddy Merrill swims inYear the film adaptation starring Burt Lancasterwas releasedSeinfeld episode in which love letters from Cheever are mentioned1150141968AuthorSwimming PoolsRepresent stages in Neddys superficial lifestyleAlcoholSymbolizes Neddys desire for a fun-loving lifestyle and high social standingMapsReveal Neddys plan for his life as a brave adventurerand unexpected realitySymbolsAgingAs he swims, Neddy changes from a vibrant, youthful man into an exhausted and depressed older man.Suburban EmptinessHis friends lead materialistic lives, and what Neddy thought was a successful life is actually an empty failure. Shirley AdamsDisgusted with Neddy; says she wont givehim moneyThe Biswangers’ poolAfter a hostile greeting,Neddy is confused but swims across the pool.John Cheever1964EnglishShort StoryAuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageThe SwimmerDramaSources: Encyclopaedia Britannica,, Story of the Week,The TelegraphCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.

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