Falconer Summary
John Cheever

Everything you need to understand or teach Falconer by John Cheever.

  • Falconer Summary & Study Guide
  • 1 Literature Criticism
  • 1 Short Guide
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Falconer Summary

Strikingly different from his previous work, Falconer both surprised and startled readers when it first appeared in 1977. Set in Falconer Prison, the novel represented a radical departure from the standardized Cheever territory of urban and suburban terrain.

According to Cheever, the novel's chosen subjects are defined as "incarceration, homosexuality, and addiction."

Consequently, drawing heavily on his teaching experience at Sing Sing prison in the early 1970s, Cheever creates in Falconer a realistic portrayal of prison existence, using the setting as a literary metaphor for the concept of confinement as an abstract state of mind.

The novel revolves around the central character of Ezekiel Farragut, a forty-eight-year-old college professor convicted of murdering his brother.

Although Cheever had on several previous occasions explored the complex and often strained relationships between brothers, this was the first incident of fratricide in his fiction. Several themes interact within the novel including the...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Falconer Study Pack contains:

Falconer Short Guide