Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Week 3- Neddy the Swimmer

When I read the Swimmer my idea of what was going on changed quite a bit throughout.  When he started out on his journey to swim the county and got to the river he named Lucinda after his wife he seemed coherent and able.  Quickly when he constantly was showing up to different houses having parties and swimming the pools it became apparent that this was only happening on the same day in his mind.
I believe he lost his family, job, and house and he was a drunk that couldn't remember a thing.  He started out on his journey in the middle of summer, maybe soon after he lost everything he had.  Next it became fall, then winter, and over and over again he was going through the motions still thinking it was the same day because of mental illness or alcohol, or both.  By the end of it I felt bad for him and his family, or the idea of his family since we never meet them.  
I wonder if he was just a drunk who never got help or if he was mentally ill.  Either way he ended up alone, probably right around the holiday season, with no money or family or home. Regardless of why he became the way he was, it is a sad situation that made a family man with a house and career end up broke, drunk, and alone.


  1. I agree with you that this story begins as a happy tale of drunken adventure and ends with a feeling of loss, confusion and saddness. I wish we knew more of what did happen to poor Ned. If it were a mental illeness of if he had drank his way into oblivion. I'm almost inclined to believe the latter because of the amount of times Cheever mentions alchohol in the story. He begins his adventure with a buzz and is 4-5 drinks in at about halfway through his journey. When he reaches the homes past the high way he almost seems desperate for a drink at each stop, something to help him continue on, forget the cold and the pain and the things he'd over heard possibly. I feel for Ned but it's hard without having all the information to say what truly happened to him. What cause his families down fall and the loss of his home. And it makes you wonder what they beginning of his journey really was like if the end were so tragic, was he really the life of the party at the first few houses or was he the drunken fool, did he really swim at all or did he wander around aimlessly lost and confused believing he was on a voyage. It's hard to know for sure but I do think it might have more to do with alcohol than mental stability in Ned's case.

  2. I wish the story would have ended with us knowing more than we did too.

  3. I think Cheever is vague on purpose in this story. It is intentionally surreal. Why do you think he might have ended the story leaving the reader's wondering? Why not just tell us what happened to Neddy and how it turned out?

  4. Maybe so we can make our own ending, everyone will come up with what they believe.