The Swimmer Historical Context

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"The Swimmer" was published in 1964, at a time of great prosperity for middle- and upper-class Americans. Having survived World War II, which ended in 1945, and the Korean War, which took place in the 1950s, many Americans—at least white Americans—were enjoying the wealth and affluence of the postwar era. It was during this time that the American suburbs, the setting of "The Swimmer," grew at a rapid pace. This world of the upper classes is the world of Neddy Merrill as he appears at the beginning of "The Swimmer."

Neddy Merrill's world was in no way, however, one to which most Americans had access. The civil rights movement was active, and basic liberties were still an issue of great concern for many Americans. Although slaves had been freed as outlined in the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and slavery was abolished in 1865 with the enactment of the...

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This section contains 238 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Swimmer Study Guide
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Gale
The Swimmer from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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