The Swimmer

by

John Cheever

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Mrs. Halloran Character Analysis

An older woman who is one of the wealthier residents of their town. Mrs. Halloran and her husband are known eccentrics: they are often naked in their backyard, and she takes pleasure in local speculation about her communist politics (although Neddy notes that she’s merely a “reformer”). Mrs. Halloran is closer to Neddy than the other neighbors, and she’s the only neighbor to explicitly offer comfort and try to get Neddy to confront his painful memories.

Mrs. Halloran Quotes in The Swimmer

The The Swimmer quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Halloran or refer to Mrs. Halloran. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Natural vs. The Artificial Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Swimmer published in 2000.
The Swimmer Quotes

The Hallorans were friends, an elderly couple of enormous wealth who seemed to bask in the suspicion that they might be Communists. They were zealous reformers but they were not Communists, and yet when they were accused, as they sometimes were, of subversion, it seemed to gratify and excite them.

Related Characters: Neddy Merrill (speaker), Mrs. Halloran
Page Number: 608
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Swimmer PDF

Mrs. Halloran Character Timeline in The Swimmer

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Halloran 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
...emerging from the public pool, Neddy crosses into a quieter wooded area owned by the Hallorans. Neddy describes them as a very wealthy older couple who have left-wing politics and enjoy... (full context)
The Natural vs. The Artificial Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
As Neddy passes into the Hallorans’ backyard, he notices a yellow beech hedge and Mrs. Halloran fishing beech leaves out of... (full context)
Delusion and Repression Theme Icon
Suburban Alienation Theme Icon
Neddy swims the Halloran’s pool, after which Mrs. Halloran tries to express condolences for Neddy’s “misfortunes.” Neddy denies any misfortune, and in response Mrs.... (full context)
The Natural vs. The Artificial Theme Icon
Delusion and Repression Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
As Neddy leaves the Hallorans’ pool, he feels depressed and weak. The swim is starting to exhaust him, but he... (full context)
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... (full context)