In “The Enormous Radio”, by John Cheever, there is a true sense of self-realization. The use of literary elements also come into play in an issue such as this. The conflict between Irene and Jim, she is forced to realize that she isn’t as perfect as she sees herself as being. She is actually far from it, just like the other people living in the building along with them. In John Cheever’s “The Enormous Radio”, the conflict between Irene and Jim made her realize how imperfect she really was and her transformation she was going through.
In the beginning of the story, we see that Jim and Irene are somewhat of what some people would call a “perfect family”. Jim was the ideal husband who was the bread winner for the family while Irene was the stay-at-home mom who stayed at home with the children, even though they had a nanny. Irene enjoys listening to music, but the original radio that once had was soon to stop working. The day after, Jim appeared at their home with their brand new radio. Irene would soon find that this was not an ordinary radio. This radio allowed them to chime into other peoples apartments and eavesdrop on their ongoing conversations and arguments. Jim had also known about the capabilities of the radio. Irene had listened to the radio so much that she started to neglect some of her responsibilities, most importantly providing care and attention to her two children. The nanny seemed to carry out this responsibility more than she did. Irene started to become depressed hearing some of the things that she had chimed into on this radio. She explained these things to her husband Jim . (Cheever) This is where the true transformation began.
In the first half of Jim and Irene’s argument when Jim was complaining to Irene about her compulsive spending, Irene complains to Jim that he needed to quiet down because she didn’t want the others to hear. Irene thought that since she could hear the other tenants, that they could also hear her. She didn’t want the others to think that she was having problems with her marriage like some of the other couples. Irene thinks that she is somewhat above the other people living in the building they live in. She basically thinks that her life is perfect. If the others were to hear their argument, they would think that Irene’s family was just like any other family in that building. This was not what Irene wanted. She wanted to keep up her “perfect” appearance. Keeping up this appearance assured her that everyone still thought she lived a stress-free life. By hearing the others problems on the radio, this gave her more assurance that her she was living a flawless life.
In the second half of Jim and Irene’s argument, Jim reveals things from Irene’s past. He becomes fed up with Irene’s constant complaining that she didn’t want…