The Country Husband by John Cheever

Topics: Short story, Near death experience, Afterlife Pages: 4 (1112 words) Published: February 24, 2009
“The Country Husband” is a story by John Cheever. The story begins with a middle- aged man (the main character) named Francis Weed experiencing an emergency plane landing into a crop field. The plane Francis was taking from Minneapolis to New York had entered a turbulent storm, thus resulting in the pilot to have to land. However, Francis Weed survives the plane crash. After Francis’s near death experience, he seeks to his true identity which had been lost in the social circle of his suburban life, but he does so in a series of poor behavior. John Cheever uses setting, character and theme to show how a near death experience makes Francis realize there is more to life than his every day suburban life.

In the story, John Cheever is using setting to narrate his story. Francis takes the train ride home to return to his family. When he arrives his house is busy and neither his wife or four children are listening to him as he tries to explain that he has just been in a plane crash. When Francis finally gives up trying to tell some one, he goes out back to smoke a cigarette and some air and the author then starts to give the setting of the out doors.

It was a pleasant garden, with walks and flower beds and places to sit. The sunset
had nearly burned out, but there was still plenty of light. Put into a thoughtful
mood by the crash and the battle, Francis listened to the evening sounds of Shady
Hill. “Varmints! Rascals!” Old Mr. Nixon shouted to the squirrels in his bird
feeding station. “Avaunt and quit my sight!” A door slammed. Someone was
cutting grass. Then Donald Goslin, who lived at the corner began to play the
“Moonlight Sonata.” He did this nearly every night. He threw the tempo out the
Window and played it ‘rubato’ from beginning to end, like an out pouring of
tearful petulance, lonesome, and self-pity-of everything it was Beethoven’s
greatness notto know. The music rang up and down the street beneath the trees like...
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