The Swimmer


John Cheever

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Mrs. Graham Character Analysis

As Neddy swims across the county, he emerges into the backyard of Mrs. Graham (one of his more distant neighbors) to swim through her pool. Mrs. Graham greets Neddy by exclaiming “what a marvelous surprise” in a way that feels insincere. In that way, she’s similar to Mrs. Bunker, both of whom embody the social affectations that Cheever suggests are typical among suburban residents. While Neddy is in Mrs. Graham’s backyard, two “carloads of friends” arrive, setting the tone that suburban life is mostly about entertaining.
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Mrs. Graham Character Timeline in The Swimmer

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Graham 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
Suburban Alienation Theme Icon
...walks through a hedge and past a shed to cross into the Grahams’ backyard pool . Mrs. Graham welcomes him, claiming that she’s been trying to call him all morning to invite him... (full context)