The Swimmer Essay

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In the following essay, Auser talks about the mythical aspects of "The Swimmer," and compares the story to the Odyssey, a legendary Greek tale.

Many critics and reviewers have long praised John Cheever as one of the most devoted craftsmen of the short story. Others have also noted his artful employment of myth, or mythic elements, to develop structure, character, or theme within his stories. In his anthology The Brigadier and the Golf Widow, the group of short short stories entitled "Metamorphoses" offers a good illustration of his use of mythic elements. It is in a separate story, "The Swimmer," however, that he has created an imaginative and vital myth of time and modern man.

If a reader employs the criteria of Professor Henry A. Murray in identifying modern myth creation, Cheever has been successful on all counts. His work is mythic for it is a "sensible...

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This section contains 1,400 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Swimmer Study Guide
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The Swimmer from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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