Rabbit, Run Themes

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In John Updike, Susan Henning Uphauser wrote that "many critics have identified Rabbit's running as a religious quest, a search for meaning beyond the natural world." Of all the characters in the novel, he is the only one who senses that there is meaning hidden somewhere in life, that "somewhere behind all this . . . there's something that wants me to find it." In 1950s American society, which Uphauser characterized as "spiritually suffocating," of course, he cannot find this meaning. Thus, she wrote, "Updike conveys the confusion, meaninglessness, and uncertainty in American society today."

As Uphauser points out, Updike makes the image of the quest clear in each of the three sections of the book: in the first section, he and Ruth climb the mountain, which is called Mount Judge, hoping to find a truth at the top. They don't find anything, and Rabbit turns to Ruth as if...

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This section contains 760 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Rabbit, Run Study Guide
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Rabbit, Run from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.