In "The Swimmer," did Ned's drinking cause him to lose his home, or did he start drinking because he lost his home?

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Neddy did not start drinking because he lost his home. He had done a lot of drinking, in fact, prior to arriving home to find his house dark and his family gone. There are several suggestions why Neddy's life has taken such an awful turn. As he "swims his way home" through his affluent neighbors' pools, we learn that he has been unfaithful in his marriage, having had an affair with Shirley Adams, and that he is experiencing severe financial problems. When he stops at Shirley's house, she makes it clear she will not lend him any money. Also, we find out he has tried to borrow money from his neighbors the Biswangers. Neddy's money problems are generally known in his social circle. Drinking has been a real problem for Neddy for quite some time, but it is not his only problem leading to the loss of his home.

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