The Country Husband Essay

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In the following essay, Hipkiss discusses the darker aspects of suburbia in Cheever's "The Country Husband."

"The Country Husband," John Cheever's 1950s story of the well-to-do suburb of Shady Hill, is a minor masterpiece of contemporary fiction. Consider how much of the upper-middle-class suburban angst it includes: the tension between the individual's emotional needs for personal, individualized recognition and the responsibilities he must exercise toward others; the brittle order of man-made conventions, undermined by the instinctive, chaotic selfishness of animal biology; the would-be hero's visions of an Elysian future fractured by the triphammer echoes of history; and, through it all, the terrible failure of human communication, with the resultant condemnation to loneliness and imprisoned desire of the imaginative suburbanite in an unimaginative land.

Cheever's studies of life at the apex of American middle-class culture are stories that depend less on plot than on images, and it is...

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This section contains 3,709 words
(approx. 10 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Country Husband Study Guide
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The Country Husband from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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