John Cheever Discussion Topics

Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

John Cheever’s accounts of his life and circumstances are sometimes at odds with the facts. Is prevarication a habit of the major characters in his stories?

Cheever lamented the loss of such values as “serenity” and “tradition” in modern life. Are these losses important themes in his fiction?

Examine the structure of The Wapshot Chronicle with particular attention to its framing Fourth of July settings.

Decorum involves such qualities as propriety and good taste. Is the “decorous surface” of Cheever’s prose a deception or does it reflect values affirmed in his stories?

Cheever called Falconer “the sum of my experiences.” Is this one of his misleading statements or does it seem to ring true?

Judging from the evidence presented here, do you think that critics generally have understood Cheever’s work properly?