John Cheever : Parody and The Suburban Aesthetic

Dyer, John Joseph , Department of English, University of Virginia
Howard, Alan, Department of English, University of Virginia

John Cheever was able to portray the American suburbanite at mid-twentieth century as both valiant and pathetic at the same time. A character in one of Cheever's suburban tales maintains a constant balancing act between hope, ambivalence, and anxiety. He is tenuously poised between a willingness to accept his position in his genteel community and his suspicions of what might be the wrong way of life. These suburbanites are at once remarkably in control of their faculties and at the mercy of an uncertain destiny. This ability to capture this human dilemma and to combine it with one of the newest and most overlooked manifestations of the American landscape, suburbia, shows the power and insight of Cheever's art. 

MA (Master of Arts)

Originally published on the XRoads site for the UVA American Studies program. Years range from 1995-2005. Content is captured at the level of functionality available on the date of capture.

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