“Rabbit, Run” by John Updike

The novel by John Updike Rabbit, Run is the representation of the field for thorough thinking. The thing is that in a life of a man, Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom, the author enclosed the reality of the American dream. In other words, the argumentative discussion in the paper touches upon direct facts in the book. Such an approach serves as the main point for a personal response to the work by John Updike. The evaluation of ideas underlined or hinted at in the novel provides a scope of suggestions for the discussion. On the other hand, the author masterly recommends looking at the example of Rabbit, so that to get the idea of reality. Hence, the novel is solely the representation of artistic thought. Nonetheless, implementation of the main ideas and themes of the book in real life serves as a precaution for human beings.

First of all, it is necessary to understand whether a man is worth doing huge mistakes inflicting ominous pains to other people? Is it the way for a change? The urge of such questions is to understand the sense of life. It also strives to make up the idea of the place for an individual in this life and under the circumstances of his/her life. Updike’s arguments gather different ideas centered on the significance of social development of the nation on the example of one man. The average lives of average people construct the marginal layer of society (Klinkowitz 68). In this point, it is vital to mention that the cruelty of life is imposed on the essence of people. They generate conflicts and they can make restrictions for such negative events. The story of Harry Angstrom is the manifestation of total fear in life. It is vital to presuppose that in some moments human beings cannot but fear. They lead to making some attempts to improve the situation, but it may become full vanity unless promote rationale.

This urge claims the religious peculiarities in attitudes to faith. Thus, it is known that, as Bible says, the main weapon of God is faith, but the main weapon of the devil is fear. In this respect, Rabbit follows the ominous way from the very beginning. Moreover, Bible says that a man should be whether hot or cold, but not be warm. This fact is also not in Rabbit’s favor. His mediocrity provides no way out for his escape from reality. One more objection is that Updike would not look at the story of Rabbit from the higher position unless he wanted to bring Harry to repentance. In this respect, the novel is similar in some points to Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. In it, Raskolnikov also fears much about the disclosure of his essence and his outrageous deed. The difference is in the fact that Harry does not know for sure where his destination lies. He fails to analyze everything he did. He does not look at the seriousness of his family life. Was it reasoned somehow or it is the way to hide from features of life? This question has the mere extent of direct suggestion.

Stating facts when people are not decisive in their approaches, one may simply understand the result of such hesitations. It leads to nothing. “Nothing” is the sphere that should be omitted by a human being, unless he/she wants to have great troubles in life. Thereupon, reconsidering the position of Rabbit one asserts that he created the background for the trap. On the other hand, it is not apparent whether he conducted it intentionally. It is because he could not even have a closer look at his soul affairs and sincerity of desires. Thus, if there is no sincerity, there is no way for having a happy end. It is better to say, with uncertainty in mind and personal good intentions there is a direct way to a dead end.

The life traveling of Rabbit at the stage which is described in the book is just walking up the down-staircase. This metaphor provides a better outlook on how Rabbit involved himself in the fallacies. Such truth is fair for everyone who fails to look straightforwardly into the eyes of the truth of life. The role of personal duty before the family is a precious responsibility. It is the domain in which the development of generations gives hopes for the future. However, going forth and back is the reality of Rabbit. It is his destiny, as one may call it. The paradox and absurdity of such a position are in Rabbit’s beliefs that someday everything changes for the better. Nonetheless, his escape is the escape from everything. It is one-sided and directs to nowhere. In turn “nowhere” is also the sphere of unlimited emptiness, just like the concept of “nothing.”

One of the purest forms of escape from reality with its negative flows is a sport (Segrave 61). Sport exclusively describes the general desire of sportsmen to compete for the purpose to reach the finish first. This form of escape is too literal. Its triviality does not mean that it is unpopular today. The rabbit looks at his escape with different perspectives to run away from freedom thinking that it is somewhere behind real life. This point is of no positive result because again it is a trap of fallacy. To move back is not reasonable, because Rabbit’s way is one-sided – toward greater harms for him and his relatives. Does this point outline the idea of where the stop of Rabbit exists? Is there a measure to limit or turn back the movement of Rabbit on the pathway of fear? In this case, one may suppose that death is the way out. However, the higher literary thought of the writer tends to improve the situation. Updike leads Rabbit to realize the drawbacks of his uncertainty as for women and personal position in the society. He is afraid of distinctive actions. Therefore, the distinctiveness of his failure provides less rationality in his actions. Thus, Rabbit thinks in a wrong way. His angst makes his reasoning vague every time he fails. The applicable place for him is in fear. It is even seen in the stylistic devices of antonomasia which Updike uses in the surname of Harry.

All in all, lack of happiness in the book by John Updike once more shows that living in dreams may lead to nothing. In this respect, one may go nowhere and become no one. The tragedy of humanity is in rejection of adjustment to reason and humane. In this failure, it is better to be sincere with self, first of all.

Works cited

Klinkowitz, Jerome. John Updike’s America. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa, 1980.

Segrave, Jeffrey O. “Sport as Escape.” Journal of Sport & Social Issues 24(1) (2000): 61-77.

Updike, John. Rabbit, run. New York: Knopf, 1960.

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