Tag: John Cheever

  • How To Write Like John Cheever

    How To Write Like John Cheever

    American writer John Cheever is sometimes described as Chekov of the Suburbs. If you’ve not encountered Cheever before, perhaps start with his most famous story: “The Swimmer”.

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  • Reunion by John Cheever Short Story

    Reunion by John Cheever Short Story

    “Reunion” is a short story by John Cheever, first published 1962 in The New Yorker. You can listen to it read by Richard Ford. SETTING OF REUNION As Richard Ford says, Grand Central Station is a place where anything could happen — any two people could meet. The story is set in the 1950s or 60s, the heyday of ‘the…

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  • Side-shadowing In The Wrysons by John Cheever

    “The Wrysons” is interesting as a study of writing technique because it is a story with the theme of ‘lack’ running throughout, and Cheever masterfully chose to employ some narrative techniques which are themselves about describing not what did happen but what didn’t, and what might have. Apart from The Bella Lingua, which is set in Italy, this and the…

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  • The Housebreaker of Shady Hill by John Cheever Analysis

    The Housebreaker of Shady Hill by John Cheever Analysis

    Is “The Housebreaker of Shady Hill” ultimately a story about fernweh? The main character wants to be somewhere else, for sure, and wants to be someone else. Ultimately he finds peace by ditching his temporary persona as a thief and returning to his honest, family-man status. You get a strange feeling like when you leave a place, like you’ll not…

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  • Just One More Time by John Cheever Analysis

    WHAT HAPPENS IN THE STORY From the New Yorker synopsis: The Beers were shoestring aristocrats of the upper East Side. They were elegant and charming but had lost their money. Alfreda took a number of jobs in the thirties & forties to help their finances. They did some unsavory things but managed to get by on their charm. Their children…

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  • The Sorrows Of Gin by John Cheever Analysis

    by Gerhard Glück drunk santa

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  • The Chaste Clarissa by John Cheever Analysis

    WHAT HAPPENS IN THE CHASTE CLARISSA A twice-divorced philanderer holidays where he has always holidayed, on Martha’s Vineyard. On the ferry he meets for the first time a beautiful young woman who has recently married into a bird-watching, rock-collecting family of average Joes, but her husband won’t be joining Clarissa on the island, so our viewpoint character decides immediately that she…

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  • Reflection and Delusion In The Cure by John Cheever Analysis

    In his story ‘The Cure’, Cheever comes pretty close to writing a supernatural thriller story, with a few typical thriller genre beats. The stars are ordinary heroes, or to use Northrop Frye’s terms, mimetic heroes.

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  • Christmas Is A Sad Season For The Poor by John Cheever Analysis

    Christmas Is A Sad Season For The Poor by John Cheever Analysis

    At first, “Christmas Is A Sad Season For The Poor” reads like a comical tale but this is a Cheever story, so expect a sombre turn before the end. WHAT HAPPENS IN CHRISTMAS IS A SAD SEASON FOR THE POOR An elevator operator complains of how lonely he is to all who enter his realm. Each passenger regales him with…

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  • Clancy in the Tower of Babel by John Cheever Analysis

    In “Clancy in the Tower of Babel” (1953), Cheever dealt with homosexuality overtly for the first time. But his treatment is stereotypical; he portrays his homosexual characters as effeminate, hysterical, and tortured. glbtq It’s difficult to read the stories of John Cheever without taking what you know of the author’s life as a palimpsest for his characterisations. Though I’m interested…

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  • The Pot Of Gold by John Cheever Analysis

    John Cheever isn’t exactly well-known for his ability to get inside women’s heads and depict the other half of humanity as fully human. If he wrote a story with a rounded female protagonist, I’m yet to read it. In “The Pot Of Gold”, at least, the main male character has something to learn from his wife. This short story demonstrates that even…

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  • The Sutton Place Story by John Cheever Analysis

    WHAT HAPPENS IN “THE SUTTON PLACE” As outlined by The New Yorker, which delivers its own plot spoiler for “The Sutton Place” by John Cheever: A little girl gets lost through the carelessness of her nurse who leaves the child with a friend of the family’s while she goes to church. The parents are frantic and have sharp feelings of guilt…

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  • O City Of Broken Dreams by John Cheever Analysis

    In “O City Of Broken Dreams” by John Cheever a stupidly optimistic Evarts Molloy writes the first act of a play then uproots his family and takes them to New York on thirty-five dollars, which to him seems like a huge sum. Everything in New York seems to glitter. The reader — more worldly than Evarts and Alice — can…

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  • The Enormous Radio by John Cheever Analysis

    The Enormous Radio by John Cheever Analysis

    When I was growing up my father knew a man whose hobby was to listen in to other people’s conversations on a radio you could get, but which I believe was illegal. Using this radio, it was possible to listen in on police conversations. He’d know before anyone else about accidents and domestic incidents, deaths and other awfulness. In this short…

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  • The Common Day by John Cheever Analysis

    “The Common Day” is a slice of life story set around the time of the 20th Century world wars. Though this story was first published after WW2 had ended, the story is set in a time of unrest, when even the most cosseted upper-crust of New Hampshire can’t feel entirely at ease about the future. When dividing the Cheever stories…

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