The story of Summer

898 Words 4 Pages
The story of Summer, by David Updike, is set during that idyllic time in life when responsibility is the last word on anyone's mind. And yet, as with all human affairs, responsibility is an ever-present and ever-necessary aspect to life. What happens when the protagonist, Homer, loses his awareness of a certain personal responsibility to maintain self-control? Homer's actions increasingly make him act foolishly, internally and externally. Also, how does Homer return to a sense of sanity and responsibility? To a degree, I would say that he does. At first, Homer's control over himself seems strong; he is only mildly aware of tempting situations. The reader begins to notice, however, that Homer's mind is still easily swayed by that most …show more content…
While walking with Sandra during a family and friends hike, Homer's control over his emotions begins to wane further. "Following her . . . while trying to suppress a wordless, inarticulate passion," (294) clearly illustrates how Homer's lustful desires are eating him inside. The suppression of his desire for Sandra begins to cause Homer to take up bad habits. This story has a tendency to portray Homer's lack of self-control as something surrendered to a symbol of the appetite: the desires. I should be more specific. I mean to say that Homer gives up his self-control to his unhealthy desires. Read, "Alcohol seeped into their diet, and an occasional cigarette." (294) Here, Homer is using chemical substances to escape the awareness of his feelings for Sandra. Unfortunately, such substances further hinder Homer's ability to make wise decisions. Homer's ever-deteriorating ability to maintain self-control has, so far, only manifested itself in internal ways that didn't pose a potential physical risk of harm to himself or to others. However, one night after drinking, Homer and his friend, Fred, "accelerated over a small bridge, and as the family station wagon left the ground their heads floated up to the ceiling, touched and then came crashing back down as they landed" (295) Willfully driving under the influence of alcohol is a very stark example of the external manifestation of Homer's internal