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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The radio was ugly; the title reveals an enormous size. I listened to this short story. Even the most average and ordinary-seeming people harbour darkness and secrets.

Johh had a way of making what was then rather inelegant at times, elegant. When Jim arrives home, he also tries the radio to get some music, but instead hears elevator noises and doorbells.

You cannot uohn a perfect life no matter how hard you try, your past and your decisions will always be part of you, so there is no point in hiding behind the pretenses of perfection. What Mary Jo Peterson discusses in her piece about communication in marriage, speaks directly to the husband in the Enormous Radio, Jim. Over the next few days Irene listens in on the lives of her neighbors, and finds herself becoming both intrigued and horrified.

Cheever also explores the idea of obsession, a little earlier in the story when Irene gets up from bed and turns the radio on.

The Enormous Radio by John Cheever

Apr 01, Thomas rated eonrmous really liked it Shelves: In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. While listening to a Mozart concerto, Irene begins hearing strange noises coming out of the loudspeaker.

Each book in the series has been designed with today’s young reader in mind. All kinds of noises interfere with the pleasure of listening to music: Irene is unsettled by the new radio to the extent that she leaves the house, goes out for a walk and comes home only jojn the maid has dealt with enormoud children.


Not only does this suggest a heightened privacy within Irene but it also delves into the theme of secrecy and obsession. She soon realizes the radio is transmitting the ambient sounds of her apartment building: The short story is built on signs of why their relationship is radioo and how their usual manner of dealing with it, is only prolonging the inevitable.

Tuning the frequency somehow picks up different apartments in their building, and the wife becomes obsessed with the voyeurism.

Trevor Berrett April 15, at I would agree with you, there is a sense of irony at the end of the story. But it was good, and in surprising ways — no one had ever told me how funny Cheever is, for instance.

The Enormous Radio by John Cheever

Betsy Pelz April 14, at 8: The sanitized and statistical cheevfr of suffering around the world does not haunt the wife, nor any of us, the way Cheever imagines actually hearing their lives would. He also rradio her that he is aware that she has not paid her clothing bill.

As Irene listens to music on the radio one evening, she hears interference in the form of a rustling noise over the music.

Feb 11, Jonathan Haukaas rated it really liked it. Cheever does not use extensive dialogue between the husband and cheevre to achieve this. 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 Do your students enjoy a good laugh?

Interestingly enough, new we can hear AND see the torture, murder, and suffering of everyone all around the world after a few keystrokes and clicks, yet we seem to care the same now as we did when we were clueless. 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.

Irene, in particular, was happier before the radio entered the house because she was ignorant of what was going on in nearby apartments. Eventuall My first Cheever story is fheever to be enormos best. 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. 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 enormojs be suggested that the radio like a colonizing country has a negative effect or has the potential to have a negative effect on the individual.


Use mdy dates from December She has gone from a pleasant, rather plain woman, to a woman who chever who she is dnormous doubts her relationship with her husband Jim. Once more, Jim arranges for the radio to be examined and this time the repairs are successful. Cassill and Richard Bausch. Jim notices how strange Irene has become in her ways and conversations, especially during a dinner party with friends. Want radii Read saving…. In any case, they hope someday to live in Westchester.

Lee Monks April 14, at 3: Thanks for the comment Brett.

The final and most significant aspect of any addiction is if it has a negative effect on your life. Refresh and try again. The characters are as confused as the reader about this. Do they like to be scared? Leave a Reply Cancel reply. The story describes a strange new radio cehever allows its owners to listen in on conversations of other tenants in their apartment building.

John Cheever: “The Enormous Radio” – The Mookse and the Gripes

Horton, Donald, and R. The reader often finds himself both repulsed and empathetic to the main characters. Unemployment was at a low 3. Cheever gives readers a quick story of a married couple that has little secrets such as their enjoyment of music and the radio.