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Word Count: 599
John Cheevers story The Swimmer depicts a protaganist and the society that has nurtured him as lacking in seriousness and responsibility Neddy the bewildered protagonist represents a society satirized for centering its values on social status and materialism During the course of Neddys journey the illusions he has constructed about his life are stripped away and in the process the truth behind his society is realized In unveiling the tragedy of Neddys existence Cheever reveals the unworthiness of an unexamined life The tragedy of Neddys presence leads to his own demise Through an unique usage of tone Cheever foreshadows the misfortunes of the protagonist Stereotypically the author hints at the fact that that wealthy people loaf around and indulge themselves with alcohol to rid themselves of their problems 368 In a mocking manner almost setting Neddy up for his failure the day begins beautiful and everyone is happy but a feeling of confusion soon follows 368 Significantly by exemplifying the point of view Cheever allows the reader to see Neddy from two different perspectives According to Neddy his life was not confining and the delight he took in observation could not be explained by its suggestion of escape 368 The bystanders view of Neddy however depicts him as close to naked as they wondered if he was the victim of foul play had his car broken down or was he merely a fool 371 This is the only moment in the entire story where a perspective other than Neddys is offered indicating that Cheever wants to maintain an emphasis on the bewilderment of Neddy In addition elements of symbolism throughout the story exhibit the troubles of Neddy The water a symbol of the unconscious represents the thoughts and actions of Neddy Alcohol a means of escape lies as a threat to Neddys existence because he feels that whiskey would carry him through the last of his journey 373-74 The storm represents a change from
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