John Updike Writing Styles in Rabbit, Run

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Updike's Use of Metaphor

As Hermione Lee pointed out in the New Republic, in Updike's work, everything becomes a metaphor: every ordinary object and event can be seen as signifying something else, often a larger truth. "This is the most metaphorical writing in American fiction, except for Melville's," she wrote. Rabbit sees everything as meaningful but also as strange. Lee commented on Updike's comparisons of Rabbit's heart to many things: it's described as "a fist, an amphitheater, a drum, a galley slave, a ballplayer waiting for the whistle." In Updike, she noted, "no object, no creature, is too ordinary or too technical to be subjected to metaphor."

Use of the Present Tense

Rabbit, Run, unlike many other novels, is written entirely in the present tense. Instead of presenting Rabbit's story as something that is overand- done with, Updike uses present tense to give the story an immediate, "this-is-happening-now" quality...

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This section contains 641 words
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Rabbit, Run from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.