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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Open Preview See a Problem? Set in an apartment building in s New York the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed, omniscient narrator and has a suspenseful mood. Her illusions only come to an end when Jim finally manages to convince her that the radio is broadcasting as normal; anything else she heard was simply the product of her fevered imagination.

Mar 14, Carlissa rated it liked it Recommended to Carlissa by: Then I found it enjoyable, but haven’t thought about it for years. 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. A big irony can also be seen in the story as Mr.

I tend to focus more on the use of language, so I found your analysis really helpful. I first read this book in the summer of Eventually he blows up at his wife and the reader learns that even a statistically average couple has their own deep, dark secrets.

He strode into the living room and turned the switch. Views Read Edit View history.

The Enormous Radio by John Cheever – Slap Happy Larry

They have learned to rely on the radio for much more then entertainment. Observations on Intimacy at a Distance.


When their radio goes out, the husband purchases a new, enormous, highly sensitive new one. As soon as the worst has been said between the couple, the radio fixes itself; they are now listening to the news and the cheeveer.

Works Cited Cheever, John. There is also is also the fact that Irene enorjous Jim live a relatively private life. Look to my John Cheever shelf for that book and highlights listed if interested. Dermot Post Author December 2, 5: Eventually, Irene identifies herself with the object. When the old radio stopped in the middle of a quartet, Jim bought a new one. But at the end of the story, the reader learns that her life is not really all that simple and sheltered.

The Enormous Radio by John Cheever

chsever Going to the movies, concerts and the aforementioned radio. With astute attention to character detail, he nails down human oddities, like one character’s paranoia of waking up in the middle of the night to find a noose around his neck.

She has successfully hidden these secrets all these years until the ugliness of the radio brings up her neighbors’ problems. Instead the radio brings the Westcotts’ peaceful life to an end. Another time there are bells in the background. There is also a change within Irene.

Cite Post McManus, Dermot.

Do we know more than we can bear about the terrible things happening to people in the world? There’s not a dud in the batch. She becomes so obsessed with listening in on her neighbors that she cuts short an outing with a friend, to go home and listen to the radio to hear what news would be revealed next from her neighbors.

A couple obtains an odd radio that allows them to listen to the lives of their neighbors. Throughout the story she is fixated or obsessed by the radio. We’ve taken some of the world’s best stories from dark, musty anthologies and brought them into the light, giving them the individual attention they deserve. Overall, a great short story I would recommend to those interested in magical realism and to those who find themselves on Facebook maybe a little too often. Why did you lie to me?


The Westcotts has a special interest in music and spends most of their time listening to the radio. I look forward to reading other short stories of Cheever, who I think had a complicated life story himself. Dec 29, Mike Narvaez rated it really liked it.

To ask other readers questions about The Enormous Radioplease sign up. 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. John Cheever is a master of the short story. Cheever does not use extensive dialogue between the husband and wife to achieve this.

No trivia or quizzes yet. Even the most average and ordinary-seeming people harbour darkness and secrets. Facebook Twitter Email Print. Cbeever is also noticeable that Cheever is using symbolism in the story, the radio itself. It’s short, probably too short, but works well, there is also a deadpan element to any descriptions, a cutting detachment, that not for the last time calls into question the figure narrating it.