The Swimmer

by

John Cheever

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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…

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Alcohol

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…

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