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Word Count: 868
A River in Egypt Like the famous saying goes denial isnt just a river in Egypt On the surface The Swimmer may appear to be a tale of the effects of alcohol abuse or maybe even a characterization of a mental disorder like Alzheimers Upon closer scrutiny however one discerns that it is denial that allows for the supremacy of the human mind over logic and reason during desperate times Cheever insinuates that the mind is not only a dangerously powerful tool but also an instrument that can command authority over the rest of the senses Not even the most levelheaded person is immune to the haunting repression of unaccepted memories thoughts or experiences Upon first being introduced to Neddy Merrill a sense of wariness descends upon the reader Why would this seemingly invincible man glowing with the vitality usually accompanying one much younger than he attempt to journey home through a cluster of neighboring swimming pools The answer can be found by a slight stretch of the imagination Cheever has left room for several inferences as far as Neds background goes Its understood that Ned apparently is basking in the picturesque 1950s New England lifestyle complete with a beautiful wife four daughters and a white picket fence As his journey continues however strange details are alluded to When Lucinda said that you couldnt come I thought Id die exclaims an overzealous Enid Bunker One might wonder why Neddys wife would decline an invitation for her husband without letting him know This points to marital problems between the couple an indication that Ned pays little attention to A few swimming pools later time is obviously progressing much faster than Ned is allotting to Weve been terribly sorry to hear about all your misfortunes Ned We heard you sold the house and that your poor children Mrs Halloran sympathizes My misfortunes I dont know what you mean I dont recall having sold the house and the
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