The is petrified that she may be like

The Stories of John CheeverThe Worm In The Apple& The Enormous RadioBoth, The Worm In The Apple and The Enormous Radio deal with how we view other people and how we view ourselves.What happens when you take a closer look at another family?And what happens when you take a closer look at your own?Irony plays a big role in these stories, but in completely different ways.In The Enormous Radio, Jim and Irene Westcott seem like a happy, perfect couple.They are fairly wealthy, they have two happy children, they go to the theatre almost once a month, they go to concerts all the time and they have friends they go out with.When their radio stops working Jim buys a new one.The only problem is, it picks up conversations from all the other apartments.Irene starts listening to them, all the time.She becomes addicted to listening to her neighbors.What she hears shocks her.She hears arguments, fights, bickering.She learns of affairs and peoples money problems.None of which she expected to hear, especially not in Sutton Place.Everything she hears makes her depressed and leads her to start examining her own life.She compares her life to the lives of her neighbors and is petrified that she may be like them, “But we’ve never been like that, have we, darling? Have we? I mean, we’ve always been good and decent and loving to one another, haven’t we? And we have two children, two beautiful children.Our lives aren’t sordid, are they, darling? Are they? We’re happy, aren’t we, darling? We are happy, aren’t we?”“You love me, don’t you? She asked.And we’re not hypercritical or worried about money or dishonest, are we?” (40).After this breakdown Jim has the radio fixed and everything seems like it’s going to be ok.That night at dinner though, Jim starts talking about money “I paid the bill for the radio today Jim said.It cost four hundred dollars.I hope you get some enjoyment out of it.Four hundred dollars is a good deal more than I can afford” (40).This is where the irony begins, because all of the problems Irene had been hearing from the other apartments, that she was convinced she did not share, start to surface.It starts out with the money problems “You’ve got to learn to handle the money I give you a little more intelligently, Irene, he said.You’ve got to understand that we won’t have as much money this year as we had last” (40-41).She immediately becomes scared that her neighbors will hear them arguing, “Please, Jim, she said.Please.They’ll hear us” (41).This is when Jim blows his top and we learn just how similar to her neighbors Irene really is.She stole her mother’s jewelry when she died and never gave her sister the money that was intended for her.And to top it all off she had an abortion.We were led to believe that Irene was an innocent, naive woman.It’s ironic because she was so disgusted and traumatized by what she heard on the radio.But it was only because she was exactly like her neighbors.She just didn’t want to admit it.In, The Worm In The Apple, we are introduced to the Crutchmans, another seemingly perfect family.The husband Larry, served in the Navy, has a job he enjoys going to every day, and is active in the community.His wife Helen, is extremely rich, and donates a lot of her money to charities.They have two kids, Tom and Rachel, who give them no problems.The story takes us through the families life, all the way up too when Larry and Helen are retired and Tom and Rachel are grown and married.Throughout the entire story, the narrator suggests that behind this perfect façade lie the problems we’ve come to expect from a Shady Hill family.“Larry’s ship had been sunk in the war and he had spent four days.

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