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The Swimmer    (Continued)

Page 2 of 5

Toward the end, Ned can’t find the strength to pull himself out of Shirley Adam’s (a former mistress) pool and is forced to paddle to the ladder, suggesting that he can no longer hide from his age and decaying life.

“Oh, how bonny and lush were the banks of the Lucinda River,” Cheever explains to readers. We can see in the film just how truly lush these banks are, symbolic of the women Ned flirts with and/or has had affairs with. The irony is that these women are on Lucinda’s river, on Ned’s way home.

In suburbia, nothing is what it seems, as is currently illustrated in ABC’s hit “Desperate Housewives.” It is no surprise that Ned Merrill has such a distorted sense of truth.

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