Department of English and American Studies
Palacký University in Olomouc
English philology – Archaeology
̒The Swimmer ̓: The Symbolism of the Seasonal Change
KAA/AJC1 Freshmen composition
9th December 2012
This essay will focus on John Cheever ̓s short story ̒ The Swimmer ̓ (1964), specifically on its symbolism of the seasonal change. The following paragraphs aim towards showing that the seasonal change which frames the whole story symbolizes the protagonist ̓s life journey that deteriorates in proportion to the season.
The opening paragraph introduces ̒one of those midsummer Sundays ̓ (Cheever 776) in which the story is set. It precedes the storm which is coming and framing the whole story by describing the ̒massive stand of cumulus cloud ̓ (776) on the west. The changing seasons symbolise the time because it expresses the protagonist ̓s personal change during the time. At the beginning of the story the protagonist is ̒compared to a summer ̓s day ̓ (776), he is a man in a great physical condition with a youthful and fresh appearance. As the story progresses, the weather deteriorates and also the protagonist ̓s qualities change and his imperfections and failures are more and more visible. In the first half of the story everything is bright and flowering, so as Neddy ̓s world and mood. People are friendly, he has a lovely wife and four daughters and he is happy. This summer weather symbolizes a part of his life, the happy and optimistic part.
The second half begins with the thunder, which is followed by Neddy ̓s bad mood and comments of his friends who mention his misfortunes. The thunder might also symbolize the twist in Neddy ̓s life. The sun and the shine of the summer day have been replaced by darkness, storm and rain. Unlike the summer part of the story which refers to his happy part of life, the second, autumnal part shows his failures. He is becoming more and more exhausted, cold and...
Cited: Blythe, Hal and Sweet Charlie. ̒ Man-Made Vs. Natural Cycles: What Really Happens in ̒ ̒ The Swimmer. ̓ ̓ Studies in Short Fiction 19 (1990): 2-9 Web. 1 December 2012.
Cheever, John. ̒ The Swimmer. ̓ The Stories of John Cheever. Moodle. Ed. Markéta Gregorová. 22 October 2012. Web. 7 Dec 2012
Please join StudyMode to read the full document