Rabbit, Run Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. With which religious designation does Eccles characterize his reactionary father?

2. On what minor success does Eccles congratulate Harry during their golf game?

3. Where does Rabbit want to leave his car?

4. How does Rabbit pointedly describe his marriage to Janice when speaking with Eccles?

5. In what month does this section of reading take place?

Short Essay Questions

1. What disagreement do Harry and Ruth have regarding religion?

2. Why does Ruth insist that Rabbit has it made in life?

3. Why is Ruth sick and nervous of late?

4. Describe the argument Harry has with Ruth about her going to the bathroom.

5. Describe Harry Angstrom.

6. What obstacles does Rabbit face trying to retrieve his clothes?

7. Why does Mrs. Angstrom feel no pity for Janice?

8. What does Joyce Eccles call Harry, and why?

9. Why does Jack Eccles despair after his visits to the Springers, Angstroms, and Kruppenbach?

10. What is Mrs. Smith's attitude regarding her garden?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Updike's novel is the story of a man unable to commit to any way of life for fear that a better option exists somewhere else. Write an essay about this fear, focusing on three of Rabbit's frantic flights:

Part 1) At the beginning of the novel, Rabbit abruptly abandons his family to drive south. What is he hoping to find on this journey? Why does it fail? How does Rabbit's interaction with a gas station attendant portend this failure?

Part 2) Why does Rabbit decide to leave Ruth? What does he think he leaves behind with this abandonment? What does he leave behind in reality?

Part 3) The final pages of Rabbit, Run contain a frantic flight in all directions for the protagonist. What is he trying to escape? How do neither of his two homes contain this goal? Where is Rabbit left at the end of the novel?

Essay Topic 2

Updike spends quite a bit of time in the novel dealing with the mechanics and politics of sexual intercourse. Write an essay comparing his two extended sex scenes: Harry's first night with Ruth Leonard, and Harry's aborted attempt to have sex with Janice after she gives birth. What does Harry want in these scenes? What do the women want? How does each participant try to gain the upper hand? What is Updike saying about the nature of inter-gender communication?

Essay Topic 3

The novel is largely told from Harry Angstrom's point of view, and much of his time is spent contending with the women in his life. Write an essay on Harry's ambivalent attitude toward women in three parts:

Part 1) What does Janice Angstrom represent to her husband throughout the novel? Why are they continually at odds with each other? What does Harry actually like about his wife?

Part 2) On of the strangest and most dangerous relationships that Harry has is with Lucy Eccles What is so precarious about their interactions? What do they seem to want from each other, and what stands in the way of this?

Part 3) To what extend is Ruth Leonard a happy medium for Harry between his wife and someone like Lucy Eccles? Why is he so happy for the time he is with her? What destroys this happiness?

(see the answer keys)

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