The Blue Hotel and The Swimmer
A comparison of the works of Stephen Crane and John Cheever.
This paper examines how although Crane and Cheever have written quite different stories, the main protagonists in both are essentially the same character – the outsider. In both these stories, the darkness in the fabric of American life is exposed.
“In both “The Swimmer”, by John Cheever, and “The Blue Hotel”, by Stephen Crane, a man is courting his own demise, and the microcosm of society in which he moves colludes with him. In each story, the people who comprise that society are a mixture of benevolence and cruelty, and the protagonists are doomed outsiders doomed by their own despair, terror and grandiosity. And in each story, a striking visual image a swimming pool, a particularly garish blue hotel functions as the literal and figurative vehicle for the main character’s path to destruction.”