Metaphors In John Cheever's The Swimmer

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Both authors cleverly use metaphors to enhance the value of their beautifully written short stories that appeared as articles in the magazine, The New Yorker. The original version, The Swimmer was written by John Cheever, which was first published in 1964 has many complex metaphors throughout the story. A modern adaptation,The Swimmer: Manhattan Edition (written by Carolyn Kormann), that was published in 2014, features a protagonist inspired by Neddy in the original version. The article is filled with hidden metaphors that enhance the quality of the work and gives the reader a good background.

The original version, written by Mr Cheever has many subtle metaphors present in the story. A movie (The Swimmer -1968) was created a couple years
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The most obvious metaphor is that the pools are a symbol for time. At the beginning, when Neddy decides to go on his adventure, he is very warm, because it is a nice “midsummer Sunday” (1), he would even feel comfortable swimming naked (4). Teddy was just having a swell time in the sun and he was excited to continue on his quest to swim across his county (6), unfortunately for him, everyone at the start wants to socialize with him, slowing him down. Storms end his summer, and cause him to pause in gazebo, while he is there, he shivers a touch, it’s become fall (9). The more swimming he does, the worse the weather gets and the colder he becomes (17). Towards the end, he is an absolute wreck, he cries because he is cold and weak, he has swam his way to his old house, deserted (25-26). Falling leaves, a storm, the temperature dropping and constellations changing leave an almost naked Neddy in winter, he sped through time by swimming in the pools. Alcohol is another metaphor, Neddy sees it as his solution to his unhappiness, this is odd because Neddy’s unhappiness is in the big picture, caused by alcohol. As the movie clearly states; his daughters were…show more content…
The protagonist is the author herself, and the story is set in Manhattan, New York, a much more urban environment than the original. This version also has the pools set as a metaphor for time, however, these pools transport her back in time, sometimes close to the beginnings of the previous century. History is told as she swims her way through the large, booming and loud city, this history is detailed and she clearly finds it interesting and engaging (9). You can tell a lot about a neighbourhood just by taking a look at their local public pool, how rough it is, if they have gang violence (37) or if is a pool for everyone, including serious athletes (9). You can have a whole neighbourhood or area packaged in one small chlorine-filled, noisy and quite possibly unsanitary pool. Swimming in these various pools around the city that is New York, gives Kormann a chance to have a look back in time, hours of research would have went into gathering detailed facts about each facility. Furthermore, each short lap of the different pools mean much more to her, she knows about all the work that went into building and what’s happened there
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