Themes and message

Being stuck

One of the themes explored by J. R. McConvey in the short story “Neutral Buoyancy” is the theme of being stuck in life. This refers to Jetta and her inability to escape the eating disorder which seems to still have a firm hold of her.

This theme is hinted at in the title, “Neutral Buoyancy”. The expression refers to the moment when an object’s density is equal to the density of the water in which it is immersed. Therefore, the state of neutral buoyancy means that a particular object will not sink but will not rise either. 

The state of neutral buoyancy applies to Jetta, the main character of the story. Throughout the story, Jetta is stuck, and her decisions make it impossible for her to evolve. Her dedication to swim every day for the past three years resembles the state of neutral buoyancy, as...

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