The Swimmer


John Cheever

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Swimmer can help.

Swimming Pools

In “The Swimmer,” Neddy Merill swims home through a chain of suburban swimming pools, which he imagines is actually the “Lucinda River,” a wild river flowing into unexplored territory. These pools—the focal points of idyllic…

read analysis of Swimming Pools


In “The Swimmer,” alcohol symbolizes Neddy’s short-sighted hedonism, showing that pleasure pursued too hungrily ends in disaster. Cheever announces the significance of alcohol to the social life of the suburbs in the first paragraph of…

read analysis of Alcohol