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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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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. She is so surprised by this that she shuts off the radio. She flips the switch again, but each time she does so she becomes privy to the events in another apartment.

Each book in the series has Do your students enjoy a good laugh? I found most intriguing the divide between hearing people’s woes and taking action to address them, as well as the slight gender themes in Cheever’s piece. Enormoue gives readers a quick story of a married couple that has little secrets such as their enjoyment of music and the radio.

As Irene listens to music on the radio one evening, she hears interference in the form of a rustling noise over the music. In this same manner, although they are married, Jim and Irene ironically rely on the radio for not only entertainment, but also companionship, the very same companionship they wed for. 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.

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 Enor,ous 11th, 10 Comments.


The radio can pick up conversations of their neighbors and the wife becomes addicted to listening to their lives. I really enjoyed reading this story and advice everyone to read it as well. The Sitting Bee, 28 Mar. It soon dawns on the Westcotts that they can hear the conversations of their fellow tenants enoormous the radio.

Irene is unsettled by the new radio to the extent that she leaves the house, goes out for a walk and comes home only after the maid has dealt with the children. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. She no longer is the plain, ordinary, middle class woman that the narrator describes at the beginning of the story.

Cheevsr heard an interview on public radio with someone who had just finished writing a biography of John Cheever. No matter what their taste, our Creative Short Stories series has the answer.

Works Cited Cheever, John. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. This continues until it destroys the marriage when the husband attempts to repair his broken wife by paying another repairman to repair the radio. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

The metaphysics of all narratives; more alarming than an asteroid hitting the earth. The story features a classic voyeur plot: Please don’ let anything happen to Sally! May 17, Sieran rated it liked it Shelves: I did like this, but as a story it is very light and straightforward. She feels in some ways empowered by the knowledge she has acquired from listening to her neighbours arguments and their hidden secrets.

John Cheever’s story shows our thirst to know other people’s intimacies and how that desire has both good and bad consequences. It brought misery instead of happiness. Cheever does not use extensive dialogue between the husband and wife to achieve this.

The Enormous Radio

Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. For Irene, this meant the neglect of her own, along with her cheevre, emotional needs. An odd new radio comes into the home of a perfect family, and the fabric of real life is peered into.


The Enormous Radio by John Cheever

She was confounded by the number of dials and switches on the instrument panel, and she studied them thoroughly before she put the plug into a wall socket and turned the radio n. Irene is the true star of this story because it is Irene who undergoes the major character transformation.

The Enormous Radio showcases the human urge toward voyeurism and need for privacy. Dermot Post Author October 24, Or do they just like a book with a happy ending?

The radio is fixed the following day. At cbeever end of the story, after being reprimanded by her frustrated husband, she turns again to the radio and the solace it offers by misdirecting her own personal struggles Cheever.

The object could have been replaced and the plot given a slight twist, but still the different challenges he presents the characters with, would work.

It makes the story feel more like an allegory of some kind. The final and most significant aspect of any addiction is if it has a negative effect on your life. She tries to get the music back by flipping switches and dials, but begins to hear the sounds of people from other apartments in the building.

In the end, they get what middle class America wants, to be just like everyone else.

No longer having the ability to be compassionate or caring towards another human being her neighbours.