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Compare/Contrast the main characters in The Enormous Radio and The Swimmer (Irene Westcott and Neddy Merrill, respectively) - Essay Example

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Summary
Irene Westcott and Neddy Merrill
The first comparison between the two is the quest for getting knowledge. When Irene Westcott discovered that the radio was capable of letting her know what was happening in her neighborhood, she got very interested and intrigued to know more. …
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Compare/Contrast the main characters in The Enormous Radio and The Swimmer (Irene Westcott and Neddy Merrill, respectively)

Download file to see previous pages... In The Swimmer, Neddy Merril wanted to swim through the whole neighborhood in his quest for knowledge on what had been happening that had passed him. In both stories, the personas wanted to know more about what was going on around the each time.
In both stories, the personas are at first lost in ignorance. In The Enormous Radio, Irene Westcott’s first radio was just an old instrument of entertainment, and this represents how ignorant they were. It is a sign of their ignorance since they did not understand its essence apart from the fact that it was an instrument of entertainment. In The Swimmer, Neddy Merril has a pool back home which is simply in the confines of his home, so he is not capable of seeing anything beyond himself which is a sign of his ignorance (Cheever, 73). Once he leaves for the outside world by using the other pools, he gets to know better about himself and his surroundings. This is a clear sign of how his own swimming pool has left him ignorant.
Both stories give us a view of hypocrisy. In The Enormous Radio, Irene Wastcott spends her entire time listening to her neighbors’ lives and listening to their problems and misdeeds forgetting that she also has problems of her own which might even be worse. In The Swimmer Neddy Merril decides to take a swim through his neighborhood with an aim of getting to know about his neighbors’ lives. He forgets that he also has problems that he needs to sit down to try and solve before intruding in other people’s lives. Both stories give us a view of both the personas trying to escape from their own life problems. Each and every person likes to forget the problems they have and escape reality by taking a trip or getting absorbed in something like music or a movie. This is simply a way of escaping one’s own problems. Irene Westcott tries to escape her daily life problems by listening to a radio throughout, and once it is broken down she insists for its fast repair to escape her problems. In the end, she still faces her problems when the radio is taken for its final repair. “Jim Westcott exposes Irene’s hypocrisy at the end of the story. “Who’s turned you overnight into a convent girl? You stole your mother’s jewelry before they probated her will. You never gave your sister a cent of that money that was intended for her—not even when she needed it. You made Grace Howland’s life miserable, and where was all your piety and your virtue when you went to the abortionist?…You packed your bag and went off to have that child murdered as if you were going to Nassau.” (Cheever, 78). Neddy Merril on the other hand, tries to escape his problems by taking a swim through the whole neighborhood thinking that it will help him escape by concentrating on the things. In the end after the whole swim, he still has to face the problems he has all along been trying to avoid. Both stories are a representation of how the personas, Irene and Neddy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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