The Swimmer Movie Analysis

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In the short story The Swimmer by John Cheever, and the movie adaptation, Neddy Merrill has the same physical, mental, and emotional journey. However, the movie shows the portrayal of a love interest with his daughters old babysitter, the relationship he has with his daughters, and an argument at the Bizwangers party. Through the short story, Neddy goes from invincible to a fool. Starting as slender, youthful and a man with many friends, Neddy declines to a depressed old man. On the first page, Neddy refers to himself as a legendary figure, leaving the audience to believe this is true. The first pool Neddy dives into is his neighboors, the Westerhazy’s. The pool is a pale green, symbolizing life and him diving into it, full force. Neddy refers…show more content…
Though some difference occur between the short story and movie, the journey Neddy goes through is almost identical through both. Neddy starts off being strong, mentally stable, and happy, and ends being sad, lonely, and physical weak. There are some main plot points that stay consistent in both works and help the audience to empathize with Neddy. In both works, Neddy has a mistress named Shirley. They have a short conversation, she tells him that she has moved on and he leaves. Although there is more dialogue exchanged in the movie, the same points are being brought up, the movie just goes more in depth. Neddy also gets called a gate crasher in both the film and story, which is one of the main signs of Neddys fantasy washing away. Throughout both works, it is shown that Neddys physical state is worsening. In the beginning, Neddy always dives into the pool and never uses the ladder when getting out of the pool. Yet at the end, he doesn 't dive into the last pool, and he has a very hard time pulling himself out of it. In the short story, he says his bones hurt and he feels weak, and although not directly stated in the film, his body language shows he feels this same way. Another important scene in both the film and short story is when Neddy is trying to cross the highway. He is pictured almost naked and looking like a fool while cars are zooming past, throwing things at him. Having this point of view change in the story helps the audience to see that Neddys fantasy makes him look like a joke. Neddy goes through all these obstacles so he can get home, and when he does, its not what he expected. Consistent through the story and film, Neddy sees the rust built up on metal around the house, realizes the house is locked, and sees it 's empty and dark on the inside. Possibly one of the most important scenes, Neddy finally hits rock bottom and his fantasy is completely

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