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. The Enormous Radio has ratings and 34 reviews. classic reverie said: Wow! What a insightful story on how a couple’s life has changed in a matter of d.

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After all, unless these characters are narrators or viewpoint characters, fictional people must never be boring.

I listened to this short story. I think this story is a great criticism of our society in general, and I advise literature students and anyone who is interested short stories to give it a go.

The Enormous Radio – Wikipedia

Rather, it is a wholly ideological construct relating to the interpretation, as well as the use, of the domestic space. Is there any way to analyze this story from that approach?

For many, there was a separation of home from commercial premises and many women were removed from the world of remunerative employment altogether. Irene has many deep dark secrets that she feels guilty about. Books by John Cheever. Jim and Irene Westcott live contentedly on the 12th floor in an apartment building with their two children near Sutton Place their city of residence is not mentioned, but Sutton Place is in New York City. They were the parents of two young children, they had been married nine years, they lived on the twelfth floor of an apartment house near Sutton Place, they went to the theatre an average of No longer is she interested in listening to classical music on the radio, her main focus or obsession is on listening to her neighbours.

The Enormous Radio

There is the obvious eavesdropping by Irene on her neighbours. Dermot Post Raduo August 14, 2: It is ironic that the thing purchased to bring joy to the Westcotts’ life only causes trouble between them. Maybe this story works better as commentary than as a story, but either way it works. A husband buys his wife a cheeer radio because they both love music.


Dec 19, Deniz Ceylan rated it really liked it.

The characters are as confused as the reader about this. Jim and Irene Westcott were the kind of people who seem to strike that rxdio average of income, endeavor, and respectability that is reached by the statistical reports in college alumni bulletins. The radio can pick kohn conversations of their neighbors and the wife becomes addicted to listening to their lives.

Jlhn 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. Another gothic concept in The Enormous Radio is the element of buried secrets.

When their radio breaks down, Jim orders a new one, but when it arrives Irene is shocked at its complete and utter ugliness.

It was directed by Bill Travis and it aired on May 17, Westcott sees the new radio in the large gumwood cabinet, she does not like its enormousness. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 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. So fascinating short story. Illinois Times, 2 Feb.

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

They have learned to rely on the radio for much more then entertainment. 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. However if the reader considers the radio itself to be an over-powering force, similar to a country that might force itself upon another country, it could be suggested that enprmous radio like a colonizing country has rsdio negative effect or has the potential to have a negative effect on the individual.


I didn’t even really like his writing style, regardless of the story topic. By choosing the word enormous the author may have also given a clue cbeever the radio will have enormous effects on the family. Sorta Sci-fi but with a social commentary ish.

The Enormous Radio by John Cheever

I am almost sure that, funnily enough, I have heard this story before on the radio. Morad December 5, 8: 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.

The start of this for example below is simple, but sets the scene perfectly for what follows. Mar 15, Steven rated it liked it Shelves: He chooses to believe that if they simply turn off the radio, this problem will disperse. He chose to believe that if it is not spoken of or seen, their grievances would stay hidden Cheever. Refresh and try again. 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.

Domesticity emerged as a concept in the mid-eighteenth century, alongside the modernizing forces of the Industrial Revolution and the Enlightenment.

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.

However, this connection can prove too strong, as the wife’s decline illustrates.