The Swimmer Characters

The Swimmer Character List

Neddy Merrill

Ned is the protagonist of the story. He takes on the 'pilgrim's mission' to swim 8 miles across the county to his house. He runs from one of his neighbors' pools to another until he reaches his destination. Along the way he overheards comments about him realizes that he has suppressed in his memory a lot of bad things that happened to his family.

Lucinda Merrill

Neddy Merrill's wife. She is present only at the beginning of the story

Donald and Helen Westerhazy

They are friends of the protagonist who, together with his wife, are staying at their place.

Mrs. Graham

A neighbor whose pool Neddy swims on his way home. She is quite friendly to him and wants him to stay and talk.

Mrs. Hammer

Another neighbor. She doesn't recognise Neddy when she sees him.

The Levys

Neighbors in whose pool Ned swims. He also stays in their gazebo while waiting for a storm to pass. They are not at home.

The Lindleys

Another neighboring family. They have a riding ring but it is overgrown with grass and the horses are missing. Neddy vaguely remembers hearing something about them and their horses but can't make out what it was.

The Welchers

A family along the way. They have gone away and to Neddy's utter disappointment and surprise have drained their pool. He sees that they have put their house for sale.

Mr. and Mrs. Halloran

An old married couple who are friendly to Ned. They have the habbit of being naked around their pool and Neddy, in order to swim in it, goes in their backyard naked as well. Mrs. Halloran is the first one who points out that something has gone terribly wrong in the protagonist's life - she expresses her sympathy for the situation. Ned, however, disregards her statement because he doesn't know what she is talking about - he has suppressed the memory.

Helen and Eric Sachs

She is the Halloran's daughter and he is her husband. Ned goes to them to look for a drink but it turns out that they have had none in the house since Eric's operation 3 years ago. Ned is surprised to realize that he has forgotten about such an event.

Grace Biswagner

She used to invite Ned's family for dinner several times a year. He goes to her house in search of a drink. He thinks she would be delighted to have him.  There is a party going and Grace is very rude to Neddy. He wonders why that is. He orders a drink at the bar but the barkeeper is rude, too. Neddy overhears her talking about his situation. He starts to seriously wonder what has happened and what his memoty has suppressed.

Shirley Adams

She is Ned's old mistress, who was hartbroken when he ended their relationship. He doesn't really remember when they were having the extramarital affair. He swims her pool but she is displeased to see him. She refuses to give him a drink because she has company.

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