The Swimmer

by

John Cheever

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The Welchers Character Analysis

The Welchers are neighbors who have moved away by the time Neddy arrives at their house. While he doesn’t remember that they’ve left, he intuits it from the “for sale” sign on their property and their drained pool. Neddy’s inability to remember that the Welchers have moved is one of the first clear indications of his complete repression of uncomfortable realities.

The Welchers Quotes in The Swimmer

The The Swimmer quotes below are all either spoken by The Welchers or refer to The Welchers . 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 rain had cooled the air and he shivered. The force of the wind had stripped a maple of its red and yellow leaves and scattered them over the grass and the water. Since it was midsummer the tree must be blighted, and yet he felt a peculiar sadness at this sign of autumn. He braced his shoulders, emptied his glass, and started for the Welchers’ pool.

Related Characters: Neddy Merrill (speaker), The Welchers
Related Symbols: Alcohol
Page Number: 606
Explanation and Analysis:

Was his memory failing or had he so disciplined it in the repression of unpleasant facts that he had damaged his sense of the truth? Then in the distance he heard the sound of a tennis game. This cheered him, cleared away all his apprehensions and let him regard the overcast sky and the cold air with indifference.

Related Characters: Neddy Merrill (speaker), The Welchers
Page Number: 607
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Welchers Character Timeline in The Swimmer

The timeline below shows where the character The Welchers 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
...gone. He remembers something about it but can’t quite pinpoint what happened. He reaches the Welchers’ yard and is shocked to see a “for sale” sign out front, with the house... (full context)
Delusion and Repression Theme Icon
Neddy can’t remember when or why the Welchers moved, but he does mention that he tends to repress unpleasant thoughts. He’s crestfallen, but... (full context)