The Swimmer Questions and Answers

The Swimmer

The plot of the Swimmer is strange but simple. Neddy Merill, an affluent man of middle age visiting friends after a weekend of drinking decides he will swim his way home through all the...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2020, 5:18 am (UTC)

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The Swimmer

The third person point of view can be either omniscient or limited. An omniscient third person perspective means that the narrator can reveal the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters in a...

Latest answer posted February 4, 2016, 5:23 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

Although the tone at the beginning of "The Swimmer" is light, it becomes contemplative, then ominous, and finally darkly surreal. These mood shifts occur subtly and match the waning energy Neddy...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2016, 12:32 am (UTC)

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The Swimmer

For the most part, the storm divides Neddy Merrill’s positive and negative experiences. In the first half of the story John Cheever provides some foreshadowing which alerts the reader that all is...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2020, 8:15 pm (UTC)

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The Swimmer

One aspect of postmodern fiction is the way that it does not yield up its meaning directly. Postmodern fiction is defined by its rejection of linear narrative and sequential plotting, combined with...

Latest answer posted April 7, 2013, 7:44 pm (UTC)

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The Swimmer

One of the main themes in "The Swimmer" is the gap between social status and wealth. Ned, the protagonist, was once a person of wealth and held in regard in his affluent community. The story takes...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2013, 4:35 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

John Cheever's short story "The Swimmer" was published in 1964. The setting of the story is the American suburbs, which flourished following the end of World War II. While no definitive date is...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2011, 7:11 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

The narrator of “The Swimmer” is omniscient, meaning that the narrator does not have a particular point of view. Still, from the way John Cheever constructed the story, we can surmise the author’s...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2018, 4:12 pm (UTC)

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The Swimmer

The character of Neddy Merrill is initially represented as one of continual youthful exuberance and vitality. He approaches the world around him as an invitation, with a general spirit related to...

Latest answer posted March 18, 2016, 5:18 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

Neddy in John Cheever's "The Swimmer" relates to his world as one who is entitled to its largess and friendship without thought of giving much, if anything, in return. We learn he slid down the...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2018, 2:42 pm (UTC)

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The Swimmer

Alcohol is a prominent aspect of the milieu that surrounds Neddy Merrill. As the story opens, impressionistic bits of dialogue suggest that everyone, from the parish priest, to the leader of the...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2018, 7:33 pm (UTC)

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The Swimmer

He does not gain a sense of freedom. In fact, he is trapped. At the end of the story, Neddy is trapped at the end of his journey. Not only is he locked out of his house, but his house has also...

Latest answer posted May 29, 2008, 12:06 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

As expressed in his short story "The Swimmer", John Cheever's attitude towards affluent suburbia is one of scorn. He believes that their values are shallow and unfulfilling, and their...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2008, 2:52 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

Throughout “The Swimmer,” the protagonist, Ned Merrill, grows increasingly detached from the banal, mid-summer reality of his suburban neighborhood. As the story progresses, it becomes apparent...

Latest answer posted March 17, 2021, 1:34 am (UTC)

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The Swimmer

There are several reasons why Neddy Merrill might only speak with women. First, he often meets women by the pools while their husbands are inside the house. In addition, he looks to women to...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2017, 2:02 pm (UTC)

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The Swimmer

In The Swimmer, by John Cheever, the plot attempts to disclose the shallowness and emptiness of human relations in everyday upper-class, suburban, and business-minded America. We are aware that...

Latest answer posted June 3, 2011, 11:40 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

The depiction of the protagonist as a hero is a complex one. The depiction offered of Neddy in the exposition of the story, before he undertakes his "heroic quest," is one where youthful vigor is...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2013, 3:25 am (UTC)

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The Swimmer

This story is full of wonderful themes like illusion vs. reality and alienation and loneliness. Neddy is an interesting character because he prides himself on being a little "odd" and...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2008, 9:49 am (UTC)

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The Swimmer

There is a sense in which this excellent allegorical short story presents us with a rather harsh critique of the rich and powerful in American society. One of the primary symbols that is used to...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2011, 12:20 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

"The Swimmer" is a short story written by John Cheever. The narrator of the story, Neddy Merrill, decides to "swim home" across one suburban pool after another in the neighborhood in which he...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2011, 2:39 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

In John Cheever's "The Swimmer," I don't know if you are supposed to find a specific answer, as much as look to his experiences as a metaphor of his life. Neddy comes from the upper echelons of...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2010, 12:34 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

The mood at the beginning of this story is humorous and sluggish. The narrator states that "It was one of those midsummer Sundays when everyone sits around saying 'I drank too much last night'."...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2013, 12:59 am (UTC)

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The Swimmer

The 1968 film adaptation of John Cheever's short story "The Swimmer" is generally considered to be an allegory of the American Dream. As with most such allegories, the film subverts the American...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2020, 7:16 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

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...

Latest answer posted March 27, 2009, 9:27 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

You might like to consider the way in which the central quest of the swimming journey that Neddy Merrill undertakes is linked to the cycle of life and his own failing physical condition. He is a...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2011, 12:12 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

Great question! The setting acts as one of the many tools in an author's tool box. They can use the wheres and whens of a story to make it more or less accessible to their audience. It can be...

Latest answer posted February 13, 2009, 3:29 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

According to R. Stevenson, et al, the elements of post-modern fiction in literature include the following characteristics: playfulness with language experimentation in the form of the novel less...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2011, 1:18 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

To write a good paper on the masculinity of the male protagonists in the two John Cheever short stories “The Swimmer” and “The Country Husband,” try to discuss normative tropes about masculinity...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2021, 4:21 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

I think that one of the strongest critiques offered in Cheever's story is the idea of the shallowness in wealth. Neddy lives in an area where affluence is so prevalent that he can swim the...

Latest answer posted December 25, 2012, 10:00 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

In John Cheever's The Swimmer, as in Fitzgerald's Babylon Revisited and Rebecca Harding Davis' Life in the Iron Mills, it is suggested that money comes between people and promotes insularity and...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2018, 2:13 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

Hola! The Swimmer is a story about a man called Neddy Merrill who was rich, powerful, had friends, a mistress, and lots of social contacts. He is quite egocentric and he has a fixation with...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2010, 10:35 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

In this first section of John Cheever's unique story, "The Swimmer," Neddy Merrill is the focus of the story as he sits poolside in the warm sun--"he might have been compared to a summer's day,...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2015, 11:31 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

Cheever's "The Swimmer" can be read as an allegory for the life cycle. Note from the very beginning of the story when Neddy quickly dives into the Westerhazys' pool and scoffs at using...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2008, 10:17 am (UTC)

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The Swimmer

The swimmer, Neddy Merril, is a rather pathetic figure. Initially, he seems young and heroic. However, as he continues on his journey home, we see him change quite a bit, especially after the...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2007, 9:47 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

John Cheever's odd little story “The Swimmer” addresses the reader directly twice. At the very beginning, the narrator sets the scene, a midsummer Sunday on which everyone seems to be commenting,...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2021, 12:11 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

Neddy Merrill's journey through the pools of his suburban town is meant to parallel a man's journey through life. When he starts out, he is described as youthfully middle aged, athletic and...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2010, 8:39 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

All three stories depict the American family by examining devastating yet sadly common life events. Characters in all three stories seem unable to understand the impersonal nature of tragedy and...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2020, 8:30 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

I think the turning point for Ned occurs when he is trapped in the beach house while the storm hits. Prior to that he sees himself as this Greek god-like figure attempting this heroic feat. In...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2007, 5:21 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

The purpose of delaying the revelation about Neddy's family and home is to provide a shock factor after we see all the things he was doing to deflect his reality. It is more fascinating for the...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2010, 10:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

I think that there is much in way of the symbolism in the journey that Neddy undertakes and its connection to modern being in the world. On one hand, the quest has significance to Neddy and that's...

Latest answer posted December 26, 2012, 3:46 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

The first paragraph of Cheever's story is detailing a discussion about a gathering or party the night before. It is significant in that it reflects a pervading attitude in the community. The...

Latest answer posted December 26, 2012, 3:31 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

Please note: The post contains numerous questions. The eNotes Homework Help policy allows for one question per post. This answer primarily addresses the last question. John Cheever’s stories are...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2019, 6:47 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

I think that one of the most interesting examples of hypocrisy that is present in the short story would have to center on the neighborhood in which Neddy lives and stages his quest. On one hand,...

Latest answer posted December 26, 2012, 6:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Swimmer

By the end of the story, the reader realizes that Neddy is not really trying to cover up the weak and poor image. Neddy has lost touch with this aspect of his life, whether through denial or a...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2008, 5:14 am (UTC)

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