The Swimmer Essay
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How would you characterize the social world that Neddy Merrill lives in? He lives a perfect life. A perfect family, high social standing and an expensive house. He dosent have many problems and his friends are perfect as well. What is Neddy’s mood at the beginning of the story? He seems content. It was a hot sunny day and he was drinking a glass of gin. What possible reasons can you think of for the journey that Neddy proposes to undertake? Are there any suggestions that this journey does not take place in reality?
Consider some of the many signs of trouble that Neddy encounters during the course of his journey.
List them. During his journey Neddy goes through many stages in his life. I think the pool is a symbolism of alcohol. In the beginning he was fine and everyone was nice to him. Eventually he comes to a dry pool and has no idea what to do. People start being rude to him and he realizes that his wife and kids are gone. Neddy doesn’t live in reality. What role does drinking alcohol play in the story? A major role.
Neddy’s alcohol issues may have caused the affair with Shirley Adams causing his wife and daughters to leave him. What do you think is the overall meaning or message is in the story? I think the meaning of this story is that life is short and you should use your time wisely. Neddy wanted all the material objects in life and alcohol. How many pools does Neddy swim through? List them in order. the grahams, hammers, lears, howlands, crosscups, bunkers, levys, welchers, public pool, hallorans, saches, biswangers, shirley adams, gilmartins, clydes
Notice the pattern of how people treat him as he goes from pool to pool. What is that pattern? Mrs. Graham was vey nice to him and offered a drink. the bukers had a party. the welchers pool was dry. Eventually people were questioning his behavior. They were ignorning him, being rude and telling him to grow up. Neddy describes himself as heroic. Use quotes from the story to affirm or refute that idea. I am not too sure about this answer. Notice the description of the seasons – how many are there? summer and autumn