"Swimmer" and "A Death in the Woods"
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This paper looks at character development in the main characters of "The Swimmer" and "Death in the Woods", in terms of physical, mental and social metamorphoses. It looks at how they both undertake the transformations from youth, beauty and strength, to old age and weakness, from peace and sanity to turmoil and confusion, and from value and popularity to isolation and insignificance and how they make these transformations in opposite directions.
From the Paper:"As if written yin to Mrs. Grimes' yang, Neddy Merrill's physical transformation sails in the opposite direction. In only the second paragraph of the story, Cheever describes Neddy as, "a slender man...[with] the impression definitely [of] one of youth [and] sport. (163)" He jogs to breakfast, runs to the first house on his trail, and again jogs to the next house. While by no means a professional, Neddy thinks highly of his swimming abilities; he dives into the pool ("he has an inexplicable contempt for men who did not (164)", and he "hoist[s] himself up on the far curb--he never used the ladder. (164)" His first signs of weakness glimmer when he cuts his feet while jogging on gravel but this "was only unpleasantness. (165)" His true collapse comes after he is forced to swim in a public pool. While swimming through his next private pool, Cheever writes that, "he was cold and he was tired...his arms were lame, his legs felt rubbery and ached at the joints...the swim was too much for his strength. (168)" What began as a brisk venture for a sprightly Neddy Merrill from the story's commencement, has become a grueling voyage for the now weary Neddy. "
Cite this Comparison Essay:
"Swimmer" and "A Death in the Woods" (2009, May 05) Retrieved September 30, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/swimmer-and-a-death-in-the-woods-113736/
""Swimmer" and "A Death in the Woods"" 05 May 2009. Web. 30 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/swimmer-and-a-death-in-the-woods-113736/>