John Updike Writing Styles in Toward the End of Time

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Journal Writing

Toward the End of Time presents itself as the journal of the protagonist, Ben Turnbull. The daily details contained in the journal provide the plot. For example, the journal reports on the arrival of Phil and Spin, who demand protection money. These two characters are eventually replaced with the teenaged boys. Their deaths are recounted, too. The journal also records Ben's sexual encounters, although it is unclear if Ben actually has these experiences or just fantasizes about them. The journal describes Ben's married life with his second wife, Gloria. Readers are privy to the slow disintegration of Ben and Gloria's relationship as Ben gives in to his wife's commands. Ben also records some details concerning his bout with cancer, his operation, and recuperation.

But the journal contains more than outward daily occurrences (including the seasons as described in terms of the cyclical budding, blossoming, and fading away...

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This section contains 782 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Toward the End of Time Study Guide
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