Rabbit Run by John Updike Essay

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Rabbit Run by John Updike The world of John Updike's Rabbit, Run is a collection of polarities that dramatizes the in-betweeness and the constant state of tension that characterizes humanity. A cursory perusal of John Updike's Rabbit, Run reveals a world of hopeless futility in which Harry Angstrom runs in ever-tightening circles. Rabbit is always running, from one woman to another, between Brewer and Mt. Judge, between solitude and society. Rabbit is torn because he has faith in something meaningful in the world, somewhere, but he fails to find it during any of his frequent but brief stops. More important than the futile vacuity of Rabbit's world, however, is the fact that he never gives up his quest. He searches through sex, orthodox…show more content…
Don't try to be Sally or Johnny or Fred next door; be yourself". Rabbit's life with Janice offends his fastidious nature and he realizes that "the clutter behind him in the room--the Old-fashioned glass with its corrupt dregs, the choked ashtray balanced on the easy-chair arm, the rumpled rug, the floppy stacks of slippery newspapers, the kid's toys here and there broken and stuck and jammed," is not Rabbit; yet the disorganized mess "clings to his back like a tightening net" . He longs for order, neatness, and a straight and clear road ahead. The chaos of his home symbolizes the ugliness and unbearable frustration his life seems to be heading toward. On impulse, Rabbit snatches his car from Janice's parent's house and heads south towards a mythic land of peaceful orderliness on a beach of the Gulf of Mexico. This avenue is spoiled for him, however, when he finds that the regions he travels through resemble the landscape around Brewer, a tight mesh that constricts him. Updike states: "At the upper edge of his headlight beams the naked tree-twigs make the same net. Indeed the net seems thicker now" . Even the songs on the radio remind him of Brewer. His journey, and the map that represents it, begins to seem another trap: "The names melt away and he sees the map whole, a net, all those red lines and blue lines and stars, a net he is somewhere caught in". He has an image of himself "going right down the middle, right into the broad soft belly of the land . .
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