The Swimmer


John Cheever

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Helen is the Hallorans’ only daughter, and she lives right next to the Hallorans in a house they built for her. Cheever implies that Helen is close with her parents, both personally and financially. As a result of her husband, Eric Sachs, having health issues, they don’t keep alcohol in the house, which frustrates Neddy when he needs a drink. Neddy isn’t really interested in Helen’s company, which he demonstrates by leaving them with an insincere and vague invitation to get together.
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Helen Character Timeline in The Swimmer

The timeline below shows where the character Helen appears in The Swimmer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Swimmer
The Natural vs. The Artificial Theme Icon
Delusion and Repression Theme Icon
Neddy looks in on the Hallorans’ daughter Helen and her husband Eric and notes that their pool is “small.” He asks them for... (full context)
The Natural vs. The Artificial Theme Icon
Suburban Alienation Theme Icon
Helen points Neddy towards the Biswangers for a drink, as they’re having a party. Neddy reluctantly... (full context)