The destination of any quest is a deep realization of some kind – literally, the realization of your respective goal, metaphorically often a intelligence of one’s actuality. For an individual on a objective, a mission – the arrival at the truth is the last destination. The motif of quest have been used diversely in literature from the search for the Ultimate goal to the legend of the Golden Fleece jacket. John Cheever uses the quest motif in his short story ‘The Swimmer’ to provide the unusual travails of his narcissistic hero, Neddy through the several pools of society right up until he gets to the anxiety of his own existence, the shut-down panels of his residence.
The transition in the fall to have is paralleled through the search motif. At the outset of the brief story, Neddy is the evidently youthful, innovative quester setting forth by himself adventure to swim the county, around a stretch of private and open public pools to succeed in his home “in Bullet Park, 8-10 miles towards the south, where his four fabulous daughters would have had their very own lunch and may be playing tennis.
” (Cheever, The Swimmer) Because the search continues, you will find inevitable signs of passing time (not paralleled by the physical time of Neddy’s eight-miles’ swimming journey), delicate indications in the fraying from the self-deception Neddy indulges in, the gradual unmasking in the unpleasant facts of his life plus the final epiphanic climax at the sight of his empty locked property in the enfolding darkness of the wintry night. Cheever ironically stands the standard quest on its head. The legendary hero leaves his home and hearth, environment forth on the road of trials, conquering hurdles, and finally achieves achievement in the form of a treasure.
Because defined by simply Neela Mookerjee in her essay, The Long Turning Road, the hero begins his mission and begins to encounter problems that sit along the way. The type of meeting is to use the Different. The Other, often described as the hero’s alter-ego or perhaps the hero’s irony, reflects the personality traits that the hero does not want to acknowledge to be present in him self. Because he finds this figure so repugnant, the hero often attempts to deny virtually any commonality between himself plus the Other.
Neddy Merrill, “the legendary figure” (Cheever, The Swimmer) may be the wealthy high level socialite who also starts the sunny day “breathing deeply, stertorously like he may gulp in his lungs the components of this moment, the sunlight, the intenseness of his pleasure. “(Cheever, The Swimmer) In his individual mind, he prints his own trail of private pools, the swimmer in his individual world till the self-pretense is stripped away from the sight of the leading part as well as the viewers ‘swimming’ together with the narrative as he confronts his Other truth.
Often described as an “anglophile”, John Cheever depicts the social centre of Merrill in its suburbanite languid tempo – the Grahams, the Hammers, the Lears, the Howlands, and the Crosscups, then this Bunkers, the Levys, the Welchers, and the auto industry pool in Lancaster. In that case there were the Hallorans, the Sachses, the Biswangers, Shirley Adams, the Gilmartins, and the Clydes. Neddy is pictured as the pilgrim seeking an unexplored route to the known end with the belief that “friends would line the financial institutions of the Lucinda River.
“(Cheever) The upper course suburbanite culture depicted is a world of self-indulgence – a new where you can lounge regarding in nude pleasure, an everlasting get together with the same faces, rounds of beverages and ensuing hangovers, and in many cases the same providing bartenders. From the surfeit of drinks/hangovers in the opening passage to the Communist label as being a marker of reformist passion, even the distinction between the private haven of the own pool vis-a-vis the disgusting commonness of the general public pool – Merrill’s course is colored visually intended for the reader.
The social tendencies towards Neddy subtly alterations from the respectful welcome of Mrs. Grahams to the making use of sympathy of Mrs. Halloran, to the rude reaction of the Biswangers at his invasive presence inside their noisy party. Neddy tries to integrates himself into the feel of the sociable class he once hailed from, but as the text develops, he is portrayed as an invasive element, an opportunist totally free drinks and begging financial loans. The color with the quest thickens, darkens while the slow realization with the erstwhile insider being the unwelcome outsider hits residence.