Social Excesses

Essay by yola21High School, 11th grade October 2004

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It has been said that sometimes people have to look at where they have been to see where it is that they are going, but there are some people who fail to look at who they have become, and suddenly find themselves faced with a reality they do not remember or understand. Life is a wonderful thing, but nobody said it was going to be easy. The simple joys in life should not be taken for granted because one minute they will be there and next thing they are gone. Too much of a good thing is not always healthy. People need to realize how short life really is and take advantage of the good things around. In the Swimmer Cheever's theme is about the social excesses, not merely the alcohol excess. Ned's egotism causes him to lose everything his social status, expensive lifestyle, and his family.

In the short story Swimmer Ned loses his high social status and no longer fits in with the same clique that he associated with before.

Neddy, the bewildered protagonist, represents a society satirized for centering its values on social status and materialism. In his earlier days he was part of the "in style" clique and he sure acted the part by deciding who was at his rank and who was not. An example is when Ned is talking about the Biswangers' "They did not belong to Neddy's set-they were not even on Lucinda's Christmas card list" (6). Wealthy people like Ned once was preferred not mingle with the other groups below them for the reason that it would be an embarrassment. Social status was one of the central values in his life, but it was not so pleasant when Ned was left out of the circle. Rank of a person should not...