John Cheever is an American novelist and short story writer. He was
compared with Chekhov by critics. He usually reveals problems of life of
simple people from villages and towns with a proper simple language.
The story under considiration is "The pleasure of Solitude". It`s about
a sad and dromatic case which happens to one lonely woman who`s name is
Ellen Goodrich. She`s used to be alone without any randudant communication
with people and it has satisfacted her. But once she opens her door to
some strangers who are two boys and they touch her soul so she let them in.
To her dissappointment they have stolen her things and money. Then they
follows her until she has decided to change the place of living. But
that guys have found her again so she starts beat them being upset and
they calls the police. The end.
First of all I want to tell about the title which is rather ironical
cause it is not normal to like solitude and we can see in the story how
it could turn out. May be there are some rare exceptions but not this time.
Ellen Goodrich who is the protagonist of Cheever`s stories is unhappy
and lonely woman who doesn`t communicate with anybody. To display her
lonelyness the author applies hyperbole when Ellen realizes that: it
was the first time in more than a year that she had allowed anyone other
than the landlady to come into her room. Also she didn`t know how to
react and what to do when one of the boys took a cigarette". Emotional
state of Ellen as the the atmosphere of whole text is exited and
worning cause it`s very unusual for the woman what is happening. It`s
a very extranodinary case for her the whole situation.
However she pretends to be ok. She pretends that the solitude is normal
to her. All she needs is money. So she pretends again that she is in comfortable
material statement. Very ironical moment that she has talking surname which is
"Goodrich". Furthermore this theme is disclosed by the semantic field of
the story: purse, dollars, bills, coins and so on. She wants to look rich
although she is not. I think that the author writes the parallel here
between her pretending to be happy in spite of her solitude and her
pretending to be rich in spite of a great lack of money. Cheever put
the irony to emphosize the effect of it describing her: "She took her possessions
over the following night in a taxi" that proves her material problems.
By the way she tries to pretend smart, educated and travaling person
during the conversation with the little guys. She applies some foreign words as
"maracas" and refers to some geografical means as "Caribean Cruise". The
decoration of her flat with some ornamentsjust proves the statement
that she lives in the world of illusions.
There are some negative emotions of the woman due to the plot. The first
time it happens when the boys start to smoke she expresses her emotions
with a ritorical question: "Aren`t you too young to smoke?". Then her
emotional mood has been just more tense when they`ve stolen her purse.
But even she hasn`t call the police cause she had bielived them as she
could bielive that something may change in her life by them. Anyway
she has chosen to escape as well as in whole her life. But that time
it doesn`t work, that annoying boys have found her. So she loses her temper.
A lot of repititions appears in her speach what proves her emotional
disbalance: Get out get out of here before i call a policeman! Leave me alone,
leave me alone, can`t you?". Certainly she`s disappointed, angry and
broken that the society has not given her a chance to change anything.
That guys has taken her very deeply twice as a fact. Firstly by alarming
her feelings and then by throwing her.
The very important symbole used here is the umbrella. It serves as a
guard, protection for Hellen from a bad wheather, from the rain as
bad circumstances of life.And finally it serves to be a weapon from
disturbing people. And changing the place of living serves as a symbole
for a new life but the past again has achieved Hellen in the face of the boys.
As for me it was a chance to the woman, to the person to change something
and it gave the hope. But then the author refuse her and so he acquits
her solitude as a right choice against our rude society. For me such a conclusion
has lack of logic or lack of moral. Cause if the author really wanted to
acquit the solitude he should choose another way not hiding behind the image
of poor unhappy lonely woman. There are a lot of great examples of it:
robinzon cruzo, 1000 years of solitude and so one but not in this way.