On the Image of Alcohol in John Cheever’s The Swimmer

Chenying BAI


The image of alcohol prevails in John Cheever’s short story The Swimmer. It emerges as different kinds of drinking, and promotes the plot development. This paper intends to examine how Cheever represents alcohol in The Swimmer and how he depicts alcoholic characters, to probe into the significance of the inextricable bond between alcohol and class affiliation, family disintegration and spiritual crisis, and further, to clarify the social and cultural imperatives of alcohol in the context of middle 20th century America, so as to help us learn the power of alcohol, discover why it struggles so much with alcoholic beverages, and shed light on dealing with troubles with alcohol.



John Cheever; Alcohol; Class affiliation; Family disintegration; Spiritual crisis

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11830


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