The Swimmer Analysis

893 Words4 Pages
Literary Analysis of The Swimmer Thesis: Cheever uses symbolism, imagery, and tone to convey the theme of narcissism and suburban emptiness during the 1960’s. Symbolism Pools Storms Seasons End of youth Decline Imagery Setting Characters Tone Conclusion: Cheever’s use of literary devices drives the plot of the delusion of suburban emptiness. Literary Analysis of The Swimmer 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 Swimmer, Cheever uses symbolism as a tool to portray the theme of the short story. One symbol the author uses throughout the story is pools. The description of each pool shows the reader how Ned Merrill changes as a character. At the beginning of the story, the pools represent Merrill’s youthfulness and energy. “The first pools Ned…show more content…
At the beginning of the story, the tone is light hearted and relaxed. When Neddy decides to start his quest home, he names it Lucinda River after his wife. “Lucinda stands for "light" and what was supposed to be a bright, sunny, and warm journey leaves him in darkness, storms (both outside and in his mind), and a painful end” ("The Swimmer" by John Cheever: Summary and Analysis). Halfway through the story, the tone begins to turn dark and sad. Before, Neddy felt like a heroic like figure, but when he has to cross Route 424, he starts to doubt himself. This is the point in the story when the tone starts to shift. After this, he has bad experiences at his “friends’” pools and feels unwelcome. By the end of his quest, Ned is exhausted and unable to finish swimming the length of a pool. Neddy’s physical decline aligns with the change in
Open Document