The Westcotts buy a radio which in some peculiar fashion picks up sounds in other By John Cheever Jim has the radio fixed so that there is no interference. by John Cheever One day, their old radio stops working and Jim promises to buy a new one. The Enormous Radio Questions and Answers. In The Enormous Radio by John Cheever we have the theme of privacy, secrecy, obsession, doubt, change and control. Set in an apartment.

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It is a large gumwood cabinet with numerous dials and switches that light up with a green light when it is plugged in. Each tale draws the thee in immediately with a description of a bizarre scenario or of a character’s bizarre attributes.

The Enormous Radio

Yet he’s supposed to be I heard an interview on public radio with someone who had just finished writing a biography of John Cheever. Jul 30, Marley rated it it was amazing. Horton, Donald, and R. Eventually, the radio is fixed. But at the end of the story, the reader learns that her life is not really all that simple and sheltered. Interestingly enough, new we can hear AND see the torture, murder, and suffering of everyone all around the world after a few keystrokes and clicks, yet we seem to care the same now as we did when we were clueless.

It is ironic that the thing purchased to bring joy to the Westcotts’ life only enromous trouble between them. The start of this for example below is simple, but sets the scene perfectly for what follows.

The Enormous Radio – Wikipedia

Dermot Post Author December 6, I didn’t even really like his writing style, regardless of the rradio topic. The addiction of listening to private conversations in this story is much like our modern-day addictions, and it was quite disturbing.


Elshahed rated it really liked it Shelves: Your email address will not be published.

Creative Short Stories has cheevet all and will prove to be a welcome addition to any library. Time Published inthe setting is around this time. However, you could also argue that this is an essay defending the benefits of privacy and examining the dangers of breaking the limits of privacy.

What does the radio symbolise?

Jan 21, Pants rated it it was amazing. The wife becomes transfixed on the lives of others.

Nov 26, Bill S. Cheever does not use extensive dialogue between the husband and wife to achieve this. The radio is fixed, but their marriage is not. Open Preview See a Problem? The peace of tye marriage is ended when these unspoken secrets are dredged up. The dials flooded with a malevolent green light, and in the distance she heard the music of a piano quintet. Cheever did not write a story about the effects of having a radio in your house.

Just as the Westcotts are privy to the darknesses of their neighbours, the reader is now privy to the darkness of this fictional couple. A couple obtains an odd radio that allows them to listen to the lives of their neighbors.

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This was my intro to the genius of Cheever; he reminds me of Dorothy Parker but deeper and with chrever substance and “Clancy in the Tower of Babel” totally reminded me of Flannery O’Connor as did the ending of “The Hartleys”. You cannot lead a perfect life no matter how hard you try, your past and your decisions will always be part of you, so there is no point in hiding behind the pretenses of perfection. The Enormous Radio by John Cheever.

Towards the end, Mrs. Once more, Jim arranges for the radio to be examined and this time the repairs are successful. There are people almost obscenely tuned in to the feed of available information, and yet there are still people unable to watch the news because it upsets them. Jul 09, Lizzie rated it liked it Shelves: So now I can come back and read his other stories which I hope to do over a long time. Irene demands that Jim turn off the radio because she is afraid her neighbors will hear her and Jim, just as they can hear the others in the building.


Short Story Analysis: The Enormous Radio by John Cheever – The Sitting Bee

When her radio stops working and a new one arrives, she starts to hear more than just the programmes that break the silence of her apartment. View all 14 comments. Nov 12, Sayantan Ghosh rated it it was amazing. Lists with This Book. Unemployment was at a low 3. Apr 06, classic reverie rated it it was amazing Shelves: I did like this, but as a story it is very light and straightforward. When their radio goes out, the husband thee a new, enormous, highly sensitive new one.

Changing the channels, we get some more humor from a woman who speaks with a pretentious, English accent. Over the next few days Irene listens in on the lives of her neighbors, and finds herself becoming both intrigued and horrified. Mar 15, Steven rated it liked it Shelves: Although the story takes a dramatic twist at the end, which for most readers would shift their loyalties to Jim, unlike Irene who uses the radio as a source of peace and acceptance, the radio represents the mindset Jim has about marital enodmous.