The Slump Essay

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The title story (originally published in 1969) of this 1972 collection is crafted as a meditative reminiscence by the narrator-protagonist William Young (manifestly an Updike alter ego) on six significant women in his life and their connection to museums he and they have visited. The recounting of his relationships to these six merges with the imagery of four terms he finds evoked by the two key title words—museums and women—conjoined (and which also echo in his name): radiance, antiquity, mystery, and duty. The story proceeds as a developing interplay of this imagery and of the characterizations of the six women in William's life. For example, William's mother, obviously the first woman in his consciousness and the one who takes him to the local provincial museum, "like the museum" is for her adolescent son "an unsearchable mixture of knowledge and ignorance ... a mystery so deep it never formed...

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This section contains 2,522 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Slump Study Guide
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Gale
The Slump from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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