John Cheever's The Swimmer

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One of the founding fathers, the wise Benjamin Franklin once said the words of wisdom, "Lost time is never found again"( The short story, “The Swimmer”, supports this quote, by conveying the moral to not let time slip away. The story begins on a midsummer day with the main character Neddy Merrill, deciding to pool hop to reach his home. At each stop, he received alcoholic beverages , and based on conversations with others, Neddy has not a clue of past events. He absorbs blows to his social status as well as comments about his family. Strangely enough, he has no recollection. Through each pool, he seemingly begins to grow weaker and thinner, as if becoming older. Somehow, the weather becomes that of fall ,with the scent of…show more content…
He writes about Neddy; " Looking over- head he saw that the stars had come out, but why should he seem to see Andromeda, Cepheus, and Cassiopeia? What had become of the constellations of midsummer? He began to cry."(Cheever). Cheever describes the constellations that Neddy witnesses as those only visible in fall. This contradicts the midsummer setting at the beginning of the story, showing time has passed. Neddy has not been aware of the time frame, and is slowly grasping what he has denied. The sights of the constellations prove the passage of time. Literary critic Robert Morace writes;"Neddy's alienation from all that is familiar and therefore reassuring increases until, dispossessed in various ways, he arrives at his home, now dark, empty, and locked."(Morace). What Morace is referring to is when Neddy reaches his home, to which he looks at it and finds it deserted. At this point, Neddy has confronted time. The sight of the deserted house concludes that time has passed, all to which Neddy has ignored. He realizes his house is for sale, that he has been denying all the painful memories throughout the years that has led him to that moment. Through figurative language, specifically the senses of smell and sight, Cheever evokes a somber mood, and conveys the fact that time and life are

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