John Updike Essay

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John Updike


John Updike’s poems are written in a very peculiar style. Unlike most poets, Updike’s poems seem to tell a story, rather than depict a singular emotion. This is due to the fact that many of Updike’s poems deal with simple, yet focused topics. Updike masters the use of vivid language to produce powerful images in the minds of his readers. The use of such strong language in his poems allow his readers to see and experience the messages which he is portraying. Although the topics of Updike’s poems vary immensely, the same detailed conceptions are evoked from every poem.
One poem that stands out, among his sexual pieces, is Fellatio. Unlike intercourse, fellatio has been depicted throughout history as an unclean
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It also seem to imply that there is comedic value to the idea that these women, who appear so clean cut and proper in the work place, can return home to their lovers and be completely different.
In another of Updike’s sexual poems, sex is represented in an extremely different manner. In Updike’s poem, Cunts, a very contradictory image of sexuality is given. Updike uses the word cunt in this poem consistently. This word is a very degrading word for the vagina, but he characterizes the female genitalia in a very positive fashion. Updike characterizes this portion of the human anatomy as a beautiful thing, especially when he refers to it as the, “...Glad tunnel of life...” (p. 118). The process of giving birth is probably the most beautiful and rewarding experience that a woman can endure. Due to this characterization, the reader is filled with a respect for the woman’s body, because of the miracles that it can perform. Updike inserts the word cunt into the middle of thoughts, to enhance his point. Updike writes, “...there is almost / cunt too much of a CUNT good thing CUNT...” (p.119). The use of these derogatory, interfering statements provides the reader with a clear view of Updike’s point. Updike is showing the reader that society’s view of men and women in society is tainted. We as a society tend to treat women as the inferior gender, with less freedom and more demanding guidelines than men. Most men crave sexual contact with a…