Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day Fifty-Four: "The Summer Farmer" by John Cheever


"Memory is often more appealing than fact."

This second sentence from Cheever's brilliant short story is a true foreshadowing of things to come and also a statement about the human condition. We react without thinking and we think without considering for any length of time what prejudices might cloud our thinking.

A man takes the train to his family's farm on the weekends, leaving New York behind so he can be a man of the earth for a couple of days a week, to breathe clean air, to sweat and toil over something that is truly his own and he finds that he irrationally doesn't trust his farmhand, a Russian communist hard working man, when two pet rabbits turn up dead on the farm. There's a rush to judgment, an accusation based on impulse and the story ends with the man taking the train back into town, wondering if he ever really wants to return.

He is truly a "summer farmer" and the reader sees at the story's conclusion that this man's season has passed.

WHAT AN AMAZING STORY...Cheever always leaves me a little numb but in a good way! Wow!

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