Rabbit symbolizes the Everyman. Rabbit is like an animal, sometimes acting like a dog. Rabbit is white, macho, racist, sexist. Rabbit has been conditioned: he is nonetheless disillusioned & runs away from the wife & into the arms of a slut. Rabbit: "Unique and Mortal"... that's for damn sure.
Harry Angstrom (Rabbit) is 23. He was a one-time great basketball player in high school. Now, our tall protagonist is waking up to his real nightmare: he's married to an alcoholic with whom he has little in common (besides their two year old son and the baby she is carrying), he has a mindless job selling vegetable peelers, and he is trapped. One night, with no premeditation, he does the despicable: he runs.
[Bella’s intro: If you are interested in marriage and its discontents, especially as represented in beautifully written literary novels, then you are probably a fan of John Updike. Volumes have been written about Updike, but I’m betting you have never seen anything quite like the essay about written by the brilliant Professor of English, . She believes that Updike offered not just a critique of marriage, but of an entire ideology of marriage dominant in the 1950s. The protagonist of the Rabbit series, Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, wants to run from marriage, but finds nowhere to run to.
Rabbit, Run ends with Harry dashing. Once again, his flight is unplanned, undirected, and pointless. He deserts his social circle and dashes into some woods, pushing through shrubs and trampling saplings. Unsure of his location, Rabbit can’t see past the towering trees that surround him on every side, but he ceases, fatigued, and notices a clearing. It has a damaged house, whose deteriorating walls, floor, and basement, scare him: “The thought that this place was once self-conscious, that its land was tramped and cleared and known,” is frightening.
Essays and criticism on John Updike's Rabbit, Run - Critical Essays
I think Updike is suggesting that the partition between marriage and prostitution is flimsier than people generally admit. Everyone in Rabbit, Run benefits financially from wedlock. Most are estranged from their spouses; those who aren’t construct a fantasy of who that person is and live inside the lie, reaping monetary rewards. Prostitution, as Ruth has practiced it, seems a more honest avocation. Rabbit, Run does not glamorize the oldest profession but refuses to vilify it. Given the material benefits of wedlock, there is no reason to judge or shun women who take cash for sex.
Free Updike Rabbit, Run Essays and Papers
Still John Updike's most popular and critically acclaimed novel, Rabbit Run introduced the character of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, one of those middle-class Americans who, in Updike's words, aren't especially beautiful or bright or urban but about whom there is a lot worth saying. The fallible hero struggles with his own sexuality, his religious feelings, the difficulties of being a son and father, and with the changes in American society that seem to suffocate him. Updike's writing is charged with narrative energy and pictorial accuracy that illuminate the present moment; it evokes the tension between the drab compromises we are forced to make with age and the religious mystery that sustains us. Written by a distinguished group of international scholars, these essays examine both the technical mastery and thematic range that make Updike's work one of the most significant achievements in modern American fiction and one that continues to provoke fresh critical insight.
Rabbit, Run Essay Questions | GradeSaver
The novel’s conclusion is really unexpected. I myself roots for a more satisfying ending hoping it to have a moral conclusion, or at least for Rabbit to have salvation and reconciliation with what everybody perceives as his wrong doing. In turn, it is something rather of a cliffhanger and I guess if I was born earlier before the novel’s publication in 1960, waiting for eleven years to come to finally know what happened on the sequel (Rabbit Redux, 1971) will seem eternity to me. Rabbit, Run is listed on The List of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.