Rabbit Run Quotes

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John Updike’s Rabbit Run tells the story of Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, a man in his mid-twenties trying to reclaim the glory of his high school basketball career. Rabbit married Janice Springer shortly after graduating, and they had a son, Nelson, soon after. Though Rabbit has a family and a steady, yet monotonous job as a Magi-Peel kitchen peeler demonstrator at the local department store, he feels lost. Because he wants so desperately to return to the popularity and success he experienced in high school, Rabbit is unable to grow in character and maturity past his eighteen-year-old self. This leaves Rabbit in a place of self-doubt and resentment towards himself and his current life. Because Rabbit is insecure, he asserts a dominance over women…show more content…
The moment Rabbit meets Lucy, he objectifies her. When Rabbit rings the doorbell at Eccles’ home, “A crisp little number with speckled green eyes opens the door” (122). His first thought is commenting on her appearance in a rather patronizing way. Rabbit then flirts with Lucy, attempting to be coy, but he just agitates her. Inside the house, Rabbit reflects on their brief interaction, “At once, absurdly, he feels in control of her, feels like she likes him” (122). Rabbit feels as if he was successful in wooing the married woman, and this makes him even more confident. This unsubstantiated success gives Rabbit the feeling of power and dominance he has been seeking. While he talks to Lucy, he again mentally comments on her figure. He thinks, “Her bare legs, crosses, show the blue dabs of varicose veins. Her face, when she sits, is not as young as at the door. Double chin when she relaxes, head tucked back. Smug little cookie. Firm little knockers” (123). Rabbit’s condescending tone further exemplifies the position of power he feels he has gained. Rabbit’s euphoria with his feeling of superiority causes him to react. Updike explains, “… in a mindless follow-through, an overflow of coordination, she having on the drop of his answer turned with prim dismissal away from him again, slaps! her sassy ass. Not hard: a cupping hit, rebuke and fond pat both, well placed on the pocket” (125). Rabbit abuses his perceived dominance, shocking Lucy into silence. Rabbit’s brief discourse with Lucy Eccles divulges some of the most prominent aspects of his personality. His thoughts, impulses, and actions demonstrate to the reader how quickly Rabbit takes advantage of power, whether or not it truly exists, to fulfill his
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