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Introduction & Overview of Toward the End of Time by John Updike

This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Toward the End of Time.
This section contains 195 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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Toward the End of Time Summary & Study Guide Description

Toward the End of Time Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Reading on Toward the End of Time by John Updike.

Introduction

John Updike's Toward the End of Time, published in 1997, is a mixture of science fiction, magic realism, and a journal account written by an older man who feels his world collapsing around him. The story is written as if it were the journal of Ben Turnbull, a retired financier who is living an economically comfortable life in New England despite the chaos and destruction around him. The majority of the story takes place in 2020, after a massive war between the United States and China. Despite the failure of the U.S. government, a depopulated Midwest, food shortages, and marauding teenagers who stone to death people whom they do not like, the self-indulgent protagonist enjoys sexual relations with young women and has time to golf and to play with his grandchildren. The narrator also drifts into fantasies which are presented so realistically they are hard to distinguish from what is real. Did Ben Turnbull really kill his second wife? Did he then have sex with a deer? Did he really witness Moses on the mountain? In the end, the protagonist, a man whom readers may not like, reveals a vulnerability with which they may identify.

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This section contains 195 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Toward the End of Time Study Guide
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Toward the End of Time from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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