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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On the way home, Irene speaks of the stars like a joun candle throwing its beam as to “shine a good deed in a naughty world.

The Enormous Radio – Wikipedia

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. First drawn in by curiosity, she develops a warped sense of power that leaves her feeling good about her life; she feels superior to others based on the knowledge she now possesses about their personal lives. Unbeknownst emormous Jim, the reaction he thought she would have after the procedure was coming in a different form, in the form of isolation and addiction Cheever.

Although this little piece of fiction has the element of fantasy as its basis, there is a great deal of realism in the story, as well. The characters are as confused as the reader about this.

The Enormous Radio by John Cheever – Slap Happy Larry

One of my favorite short stories ever. Their friends are unaware of their interest in classical music, they have never told anyone. Dec 15, Belce Bilgici rated it really liked it. Cheever also explores the idea of obsession, a little earlier in the story when Irene gets up from bed and turns the radio on. She was confounded by the number of dials and switches on the instrument panel, and she studied them thoroughly before she put the plug into a wall socket and turned the radio n.

They went to the theater an average of… However, this connection can prove too strong, as the wife’s decline illustrates.

It is ironic that the thing purchased to bring joy to the Westcotts’ life only causes trouble between them. By the end of the story she has come face-to-face with who she really is, because her husband has listed each of her most shameful acts. The story describes a strange new radio that allows its owners to listen in on conversations of other tenants in their apartment building.


By ending the story with a news report about a tragedy in Japan, Cheever succeeds in highlighting how disinterested or unconcerned an individual may be when those affected are not known or as you mention are faceless. This is clear in the dinner scene when she suddenly has the confidence to speak her mind and is described to have a melancholy spirit about her, an attitude that her husband had never known her to carry before.

This is reason alone to read Cheever. The metaphysics of all narratives; more alarming than an asteroid hitting the earth. My first Cheever story is said to be his best. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Cheever succeeding in drawing the reader further into the story, right to the end, till it reaches a climax.

Her husband Jim decides to alleviate her boredom by buying her a radio, which rapidly assumes a dominant position within her life — so dominant, in fact, that she imagines hearing the voices of her close friends and neighbors, all of whom appear to be involved in marital break-ups or family disorders.

The Enormous Radio

Jul 24, Zainab A. This was a very intriguing short, reminded me of the movie “Pleasantville”. She soon realizes the radio is transmitting the ambient sounds of her apartment building: The addiction of listening to private conversations in this story is much like our modern-day addictions, and it was quite disturbing. The reader often finds himself both repulsed and empathetic to the main characters.

The Enormous Radio by John Cheever

I bet there’s a paper for someone to write about the way the characters cope with this knowledge in the story vs. In modern terms it would possibly be coined as an addiction. Morad December 5, 8: In essence she has begun to judge people and may possibly consider herself to be better that those around her neighbours. In other words, the denouement is one single paragraph.

Using this radio, it was possible to listen in on police conversations. He chose to believe that if it is not spoken of or seen, their grievances would stay hidden Cheever. First of all, I can’t tell whether it’s wonderful or a shame that its writing predates the ubiquity of television, which as we now know would obviously make an even more apt device for this plot.

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She always sees herself the best and better than other people selfishness and childish rzdio. Her husband Jim decides to alleviate her boredom by buying her a radio, which rapidly assumes a dominant position within her life — so dominant, in fact, that she imagines hearing the voices of her close friends and neighbors, all of whom appear to be involved in marital break-ups or family diso Set in post New York, The Enormous Radio focuses on Irene, a frustrated middle-class housewife with little to occupy her mind except clean the house and enjoy lunch once a week at the Waldorf Hotel.

But it was good, and in surprising ways — no one had ever told me how funny Cheever is, for instance. It aired in Feb 11, Jonathan Haukaas rated it really liked it. To view it, click here.

No longer is she interested in listening to classical music on the radio, her main focus or cheeveg is on listening to enoormous neighbours. There is also a change within Irene. There’s not a dud in the batch. According to Alan Lloyd Smith, [2] a concept of domestic abjection is one that “disturbs identity, order, and system”. Jogn is also a sense of irony in the story. She asks her husband to go help. Mar 06, Evan Lachapelle rated it liked it. In the first place, it seemed the new instrument is better, but odd noises affected her listening of a Mozart quintet.

Jim Westcott — Educated at Andover 25 miles north of Boston. Mar 15, Steven rated it liked it Shelves: Sep 05, Gunne rated it liked it.

Thanks for the comment Morad.