Cheever Essay, Research Paper
Subjects of Old Age in Cheever s Short Narratives
The narratives of John Cheever have many similar subjects. In Cheever s narratives ; O
Young person and Beauty and The Swimmer, one of the most prevailing subjects is the quest
for young person. The chief character in each of these narratives experience similar features.
They are both in-between aged work forces traveling through life seeking to show to the people
around them that they are still the immature, strong and athletic people they one time were.
In the narrative, O Youth and Beauty, Cash Bentley is described as a adult male of about
40 with thinning hair. He enjoyed touting about being known in the town for running
hurdling races as a manner to affect his friends. An old path star, he was ne’er
aggressive of boring about his superb yesteryear. After graduating, he was offered a occupation at
the college he had attended, but decided to turn it down because he realized that portion of
his life had ended. It is evident that Cash still takes pride in his college yearss, that is the
full ground he is go oning to run these races at parties. He is seeking to animate the path
star profile he one time had.
Subsequently in the narrative Cash suffers from a broken leg as a consequence of running one of his
celebrated races. This is one of the first marks of his worsening young person. He is going less
able to take part in the activities he could make before with such easiness. After he returns
from the infirmary the character begins his diminution and enters a mid life crisis state of affairs.
He had lost weight in the infirmary. His liquors were low. He, or everything around him,
seemed subtly to hold changed for the worse. Cash is so discovered in the Attic
looking for his varsity jumper. This shows that Cash is seeking to keep on with all his
might to his young person and his successful college old ages.
Cash so goes on to meet scenes and images of decease. He noticed the bleached
roses Louise had brought in from the garden smelled more of Earth so anything else. It
was a putrid, obliging odor. He dropped the roses into the waste basket. This image
relates to him in the manner that, one twenty-four hours he excessively with be like those roses, and be dropped in
Another illustration of Cash s yearning to keep on to his young person is at the Will rogerss
party. He hears the sounds of immature people dancing and partying and desires to be like
them. He does non understand what separates him from these kids in the garden following
door. It is in this scene when he begins to recognize once more that he is non the immature adult male he
one time was. Now he stands in a dark kitchen, deprived of his athletic art, his
impetuosity, his good looks- of everything that means anything to him. He feels that
he has lost everything of his childhood, and he has. These feelings were mimicked when
he tried to dance with one of the immature ladies at the assemblage near the garden. She gave
a mark that she was non interested in Cash s company and a younger adult male rescued her
from him. The immature adult female s actions made Cash experience even worse approximately himself as a
adult male. These adult females what nil to make with him.
The concluding illustration of Cash s desire to be immature can be observed during one of his
last races. He goes through the modus operandi of puting up the furniture and happening a heap of
to utilize as the gun. He begins the race as usual, but something is different this clip.
In the center of the race it is evident that Cash is going exhausted. his oral cavity hung
unfastened. The sinews of his cervix protruded horridly & # 8230 ; .Then he groaned and fell. By this
point in the narrative it is clear that even though Cash has tried to keep on to his young person, it is
stealing thought his fingers.
Another of Cheever s short narratives titled The Swimmer contains a similar
character. Neddy Merrill besides encounters the coming of in-between age and is seeking to conflict
against it. He seamed to hold the exceptional slenderness of youth-while he was far from
immature he had slid down this bannister that forenoon.
In this short narrative Neddy chooses he is traveling to swim to his house through the usage
of neighbours swimming pools. Electing to swim place is non something many people do
and such is why it is a preferable manner to turn out his young person to those around him.
After doing it through a few pools he was lead through a group of people in a
saloon. A procedure that was slowed by the fact that he stopped to snog eight or ten adult females
and agitate the custodies of many work forces. Neddy is seeking to do himself experience better about his
aging by being the centre of attending at the saloon.
Upon nearing his friends the Hallorans, an aged twosome, he stops to speak
to Mrs. Halloran. Neddy informs her that he is swimming across the county. These
scene tells a few things to the reader. He is depicting his friends as being aged when
they are likely in the same age group as himself. In most state of affairss people are friends
with 1s in their ain age group. Besides, Neddy is seeking to allow everyone cognize that he is
trying an unusual undertaking. He is seeking to derive that acknowledgment of Mrs. Halloran in this
Furthermore, it is at the Hallorans that the reader learns of Neddy s initial loss of
energy. The swim was excessively much for his strength, His weaponries were feeble. His legs felt
rubbery and ached at the articulations. The worst of it all was the cold in his castanetss and the
experiencing that he might ne’er be warm once more. Neddy is get downing to recognize that he is non
the immature adult male he originally thought he was. This journey may be excessively much for his organic structure
It is when Neddy stops by Helen s house that we get a expression at another illustration of
his yearning for young person. He tells Helen that he would wish a drink, to which Helen answers
that she has no intoxicant to function him. In the following sentence Cheever writes, Was he losing
his memory. This is another typical feature for a homo who is going older.
After get downing his near last pool Neddy realizes that his organic structure is non capable of such a
challenge. He had swum excessively long, he had been immersed excessively long, and his olfactory organ and
pharynx were sore from the H2O. He is besides highly tired and weak.
Cheever s short narratives ; O Youth and Beauty and The Swimmer have the
same chief subject. The chief characters in the narrative are faced with the job of covering
with aging. They both try to turn out to the others around them that they are still immature and
strong, they fundamentally fail. In the terminal they learned that there isn T anything they can make
about come ining old age. The challenges they put themselves through did non decelerate the
approaching of that age.