Francisco E. Fernández; 1NA
What is your interpretation of this short story?
Neddy Merryl wanted to go berserk when he tried to discover Lucinda’s river. It was the main goal for him in the afternoon of one midsummer Sunday. That afternoon, which seems a year since the life of American middle-class people doesn’t change, only some slight changes warn us of the passage of time into a happy and carefree life.
Lucinda’s river is crossed by the swimmer, helped by John Cheever, the writer, because he wants to show us how life is into the heart of the American middle-class. Neddy swims in identical pools built in identical gardens of the identical houses.
Suddenly, Lucinda’s river becomes a hard raid of gin tonics because Neddy needs to retrieve his lost social status, but he is rejected.
Then Lucinda’s river becomes a nightmare of desolation and coldness, of misunderstanding and loneliness. And the writer shows us the true face of those beautiful people.
The swimmer is a sad story about the behaviour of social groups and the need to limit their territory and fix personal boundaries.
Say which of the two short stories we have read in this book you have liked more and why.
Both are surreal stories about strange characters who are living in strange situations. Probably they are not guilty of their strange life but the society doesn’t understand about guilt or innocence, the society rejects phenomenons.
Benjamin Button, the main short story’s character, is rejected due to his effort in ungrowing. Neddy, in the second story, is rejected because of his bad luck.
Both are sad stories but both make us think about the lack of solidarity and people’s misunderstanding.
Both chase their Lucinda’s river, a crazy dream which they can feel identified with, discovering it was really an impossible dream.
The reading of both stories is recommended, you should do it quietly, unhurriedly, enjoying the text and the sense of humour of both writers.