John Cheever at Home On this day in 1982 John Cheever died at the age of seventy, in Ossining, New York. While alive, critics were calling him "the Chekhov of the suburbs"; in their obituary notice, the hometown paper found a comparison to a Russian, but not Chekhov: "Cheever was as closely associated with Ossining as Emerson with Concord, or Tolstoy with Yasnaya Polyana."
John Cheever: Parody and The Suburban Aesthetic Offers literary criticism and analysis of the short stories "The Housebreaker of Shady Hill," "The Sorrows of Gin," and "Just Tell Me Who It Was," which originally appeared in The New Yorker during the 1950s.
"Cheever satirizes the false hopes and bizarre, but understandable, rationalizations of his characters--their fears and desires are outrageous and overblown, but their craziness is kept within its proper domain, in the family and community, and within the confines of the commute and the cocktail party, to the point that their common daily experiences become so manneristic they are elevated to the status of archetypes, rather than that of stereotypes. The moments when Hake burglarizes; when Amy pours the gin down the sink; and when Pym strikes the man whom he believes to be his wife's lover are consequences of so many prototypical forces, they become expressions of more than just petty fear or frustration."