In fact, when Ned first begins his swim across the pools (before reaching the empty pool during the storm, which is one of the first indications that something is wrong) this seems like a jolly task and the reader marvels that this man, so healthy and proud of himself, despite his age, has undertaken such a task.
However, after the indication that something isn’t right, the pools become harder to swim and are much less inviting until finally, the swimmer has no strength left and is at the abandoned front of his home.
He was getting cold and lonely, the way an alcoholic gets when they start to realize they are losing everything they have, especially their friends and social status.
At the Biswanger's party " the bartender served him but he served him rudely" a sign that he was not the man he used to be.
It is the primary object around which all parties and social action revolve and is even mentioned at the very beginning of the story when the narrator talks about how nearly everyone “drank too much." Symbolically speaking, this “gesture" of alcohol is an invitation to cast aside reality, to join others in a masking of reality.
Interestingly, as the reader comes to find out, Ned masked reality completely and drinking was part of the cause.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: Suburbia and Class in “The Swimmer"Some have suggested that this story has some parallels with the film “The Graduate" in terms of its representation of East Coast upper class suburbia.At the beginning of “The Swimmer" each yard has a gleaming pool, laughter, drinks, and often, caterers and bartenders. In many ways, despite this idyllic description in the story, there is a sense of almost disturbing homogeneity—each house has a pool and everyone is almost exactly the same.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: The Role of Drinking and Alcohol in “The Swimmer" Alcohol in “The Swimmer" is both a motif and a symbol in this story and is important to the overall meaning because of what it represents on several levels.As a motif, alcohol is almost like a handshake or a polite, casual gesture.Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for “The Swimmer” by John Cheever that can be used as essay starters or paper topics.All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in the short story and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. " The Swimmer" by John Cheever describes Neddy Merril's "swim" home.Neddy is a husband and a father, he is also a drunk.For this argumentative essay on “The Swimmer" discuss how Ned’s final leg of the journey is symbolic of him “swimming down" to the murky bottom, past the glittering surface, of suburbia.For a challenge, you can also discuss how although reality begins to slip away near the end, how perhaps this later depiction of suburbia (murkier and less of a veneer) is more realistic that the original picture painted by the narrator.